Serge Wich

Serge Wich
Liverpool John Moores University | LJMU · School of Natural Sciences and Psychology

PhD

About

394
Publications
241,800
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
13,021
Citations
Citations since 2017
146 Research Items
8285 Citations
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
University of Amsterdam
Position
  • Honorary Professor in Great Ape Conservation
August 2012 - present
Liverpool John Moores University
Position
  • Professor in Primate Biology
January 2010 - August 2012
University of Zurich

Publications

Publications (394)
Article
Full-text available
Translation of English article available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109744. Abstrak: Perburuan liar dan perdagangan ilegal mengancam kelangsungan hidup banyak spesies langka. Kami menilai pola spatiotemporal dalam pembunuhan ilegal, pencederaan, penangkapan, kepemilikan, dan penjualan orangutan, serta upaya penegakan hukum, dan interv...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystems around the globe are facing irreversible impacts due to climate change, habitat destruction, hunting, and an ever‐increasing human population. Estimating densities of species across their geographical range helps us to understand natural variation and anthropogenic effects on species densities and to assess the effectiveness of existing...
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife poaching and illegal trade threaten the survival of many rare species. We assessed spatiotemporal patterns in illegal killing, injury, capture, possession, and sale of orangutans, as well as law enforcement efforts, and conservation interventions affecting Critically Endangered orangutans in Indonesia from 2007 to 2019 using data collected...
Article
Full-text available
Drone use has significantly grown in recent years, and there is a knowledge gap on how the noise produced by these systems may affect animals. We investigated how 12 species of megafauna reacted to drone sound pressure levels at different frequencies. The sound pressure level on the low frequency generated by the drone did not change species’ behav...
Article
Full-text available
Various global-scale proposals exist to reduce the loss of biological diversity. These include the Half-Earth and Whole-Earth visions that respectively seek to set aside half the planet for wildlife conservation or to diversify conservation practices fundamentally and change the economic systems that determine environmental harm. Here we assess the...
Article
Full-text available
Using machine learning (ML) to automate camera trap (CT) image processing is advantageous for time-sensitive applications. However, little is currently known about the factors influencing such processing. Here, we evaluate the influence of occlusion, distance, vegetation type, size class, height, subject orientation towards the CT, species, time-of...
Article
Assessing where wildlife populations are at risk from future habitat loss is particularly important for land-use planning and avoiding biodiversity declines. Combining projections of future deforestation with species density information provides an improved way to anticipate such declines. Using the critically endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo py...
Article
Full-text available
In humans, individuals’ social setting determines which and how language is acquired. Social seclusion experiments show that sociality also guides vocal development in songbirds and marmoset monkeys, but absence of similar great ape data has been interpreted as support to saltational notions for language origin, even if such laboratorial protocols...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, drones are increasingly used for fauna monitoring and wildlife tracking; however, the application of drones for tracking wildlife is restricted to those users with the technical capacity to develop such systems. We explore the potential of wildlife tracking with drones by using a system consisting of a multirotor drone, smartphones...
Article
Full-text available
We thank the authors of the commentary of our paper “Where might we find ecologically intact communities” (Grantham et al., 2022) for their interest in our paper (Plumptre et al., 2021) and their critique of some of the methods and conclusions. We here respond to their commentary, where many of their points have been well-made, with the aim of adva...
Article
Conservation strategies are rarely systematically evaluated, which reduces transparency, hinders the cost-effective deployment of resources, and hides what works best in different contexts. Using data on the iconic and critically endangered orangutan (Pongo spp.), we developed a novel spatiotemporal framework for evaluating conservation investments...
Article
Full-text available
Observing and quantifying primate behavior in the wild is challenging. Human presence affects primate behavior and habituation of new, especially terrestrial, individuals is a time-intensive process that carries with it ethical and health concerns, especially during the recent pandemic when primates are at even greater risk than usual. As a result,...
Article
Full-text available
Commercial, off-the-shelf, multirotor drones are increasingly employed to survey wildlife due to their relative ease of use and ability to cover areas quicker than traditional methods. Such drones fitted with high-resolution visual spectrum (RGB) cameras are an appealing tool for wildlife biologists. However, evaluations of the application of drone...
Chapter
Full-text available
Lampiran ini menyajikan hasil estimasi kelimpahan kera pada tingkat lokasi. Istilah 'lokasi' merujuk pada kawasan lindung dan/atau zona penyangganya, konsesi pembalakan atau kelompok konsesi, atau area khusus lain yang dalam dua dekade terakhir menjadi lokasi survei. Lampiran ini juga mencantumkan beberapa lokasi yang disur-vei terakhir kali pada t...
Article
Full-text available
Newsletter article highlighting Carvalho et al's publication in Diversity and Distributions
Article
Full-text available
A GORILLA JOURNAL newsletter article highlighting the publication in Diversity and Distributions
Article
Full-text available
Critically Endangered orangutans are translocated in several situations: reintroduced into historic range where no wild populations exist, released to reinforce existing wild populations, and wild-to-wild translocated to remove individuals from potentially risky situations. Translocated orangutans exposed to human diseases, including Coronavirus Di...
Article
Full-text available
Context Agricultural expansion is a leading cause of deforestation and habitat fragmentation globally. Policies that support biodiversity and facilitate species movement across farmland are therefore central to sustainability efforts and wildlife conservation in these human-modified landscapes. Objectives We investigated the conservation impact of...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Modelling African great ape distribution has until now focused on current or past conditions, while future scenarios remain scarcely explored. Using an ensemble forecasting approach, we predicted changes in taxon-specific distribution under future scenarios of climate, land use and human populations for (1) areas outside protected areas (PAs)...
Article
The origin of language is one of the most significant evolutionary milestones of life on Earth, but one of the most persevering scientific unknowns. Two decades ago, game theorists and mathematicians predicted that the first words and grammar emerged as a response to transmission errors and information loss in language's precursor system, however,...
Chapter
Full-text available
For decades, conservation has lagged behind the rate and scale of some of the world’s primary environmental challenges, with scientists unable to collect, monitor, and incorporate sufficient data necessary to support addressing global threats to wildlife and their habitat. However, with innovative technology, we are rapidly improving the way that s...
Chapter
Conservation management benefits from having accurate and timely data on land-cover change, animal distribution and density, as well as the ability to detect poachers before they reach their target species. In addition to other methods, drones have become a data collection tool for all three of these aspects and are becoming rapidly more widespread...
Article
The global loss of biodiversity is occurring at an unprecedented pace. Despite the considerable effort devoted to conservation science and management, we still lack the basic data on the distribution and density of most animal and plant species, which in turn hampers our efforts to study changes over time. In addition, we often lack behavioural dat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Assessing where wildlife populations are at risk from future habitat loss is particularly important for land-use planning and avoiding biodiversity declines. Combining projections of future deforestation with species density information provides an improved way to anticipate such declines. Using the endemic and critically endangered Bornean orangut...
Article
Full-text available
Drones are being increasingly used in conservation to tackle the illegal poaching of animals. An important aspect of using drones for this purpose is establishing the technological and the environmental factors that increase the chances of success when detecting poachers. Recent studies focused on investigating these factors, and this research buil...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation efforts should target the few remaining areas of the world that represent outstanding examples of ecological integrity and aim to restore ecological integrity to a much broader area of the world with intact habitat and minimal species loss while this is still possible. There have been many assessments of “intactness” in recent years bu...
Article
Full-text available
Determining animal distribution and density is important in conservation. The process is both time-consuming and labour-intensive. Drones have been used to help mitigate human-intensive tasks by covering large geographical areas over a much shorter timescale. In this paper we investigate this idea further using a proof of concept to detect rhinos a...
Chapter
Full-text available
This annex presents ape abundance estimates at the site level. The term "site" refers to a protected area and/or its buffer zone, a logging concession or group of concessions, or any discrete area where a survey has taken place in the past two decades. This annex also lists a few sites that were last surveyed in the 1970s and 1980s.
Article
Full-text available
Oil seed crops, especially oil palm, are among the most rapidly expanding agricultural land uses, and their expansion is known to cause significant environmental damage. Accordingly, these crops often feature in public and policy debates which are hampered or biased by a lack of accurate information on environmental impacts. In particular, the lack...
Preprint
Full-text available
For centuries researchers have used sound to monitor and study wildlife. Traditionally, conservationists have identified species by ear; however, it is now common to deploy audio recording technology to monitor animal and ecosystem sounds. Animals use sound for communication, mating, navigation and territorial defence. Animal sounds provide valuabl...
Article
Objectives Although fermented food use is ubiquitous in humans, the ecological and evolutionary factors contributing to its emergence are unclear. Here we investigated the ecological contexts surrounding the consumption of fruits in the late stages of fermentation by wild primates to provide insight into its adaptive function. We hypothesized that...
Article
Objectives Although fermented food use is ubiquitous in humans, the ecological and evolutionary factors contributing to its emergence are unclear. Here we investigated the ecological contexts surrounding the consumption of fruits in the late stages of fermentation by wild primates to provide insight into its adaptive function. We hypothesized that...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the ecological factors that drive animal density patterns in time and space is key to devising effective conservation strategies. In Tanzania, most chimpanzees (~75%) live outside national parks where human activities threaten their habitat’s integrity and connectivity. Mahale Mountains National Park (MMNP), therefore, is a critical a...
Article
Full-text available
Historically, orangutans ( Pongo spp.) lived in large contiguous areas of intact rainforest. Today, they are also found in highly modified and fragmented landscapes dominated by oil palm or industrial timber plantations; a situation that calls for new conservation approaches. Here we report signs of orangutan presence in more than 120 small forest...
Article
Full-text available
Logging and conversion of tropical forests in Southeast Asia have resulted in the expansion of landscapes containing a mosaic of habitats that may vary in their ability to sustain local biodiversity. However, the complexity of these landscapes makes it difficult to assess abundance and distribution of some species using ground-based surveys alone....
Article
Full-text available
The Tapanuli Orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is the most threatened great ape species in the world. It is restricted to an area of about 1,000 km 2 of upland forest where fewer than 800 animals survive in three declining subpopulations. Through a historical ecology approach involving analysis of newspaper, journals, books and museum records from th...
Article
Full-text available
The Tapanuli Orangutan ( Pongo tapanuliensis ) is the most threatened great ape species in the world. It is restricted to an area of about 1,000 km ² of upland forest where fewer than 800 animals survive in three declining subpopulations. Through a historical ecology approach involving analysis of newspaper, journals, books and museum records from...
Article
Using data on the iconic orangutan (Pongo spp.), we developed a novel spatiotemporal framework for evaluating conservation investments. We show that around USD 1 billion was invested between 1999 and 2019 into orangutan conservation by governments, non-governmental organizations, companies and communities. Broken down by allocation to different con...
Article
Full-text available
Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires balancing demands on land between agriculture (SDG 2) and biodiversity (SDG 15). The production of vegetable oils and, in particular, palm oil, illustrates these competing demands and trade-offs. Palm oil accounts for ~40% of the current global annual demand for vegetable oil as food, ani...
Article
Chimpanzees, like all great ape species, have experienced a dramatic decline in global numbers during the past decades. The degradation, fragmentation and loss of suitable habitat impede chimpanzee movements, reducing the potential for dispersal and thus population viability. In Tanzania, 90% of the 2000-3000 remaining chimpanzees are found within...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) and...
Article
Full-text available
Threats to biodiversity are well documented. However, to effectively conserve species and their habitats, we need to know which conservation interventions do (or do not) work. Evidence-based conservation evaluates interventions within a scientific framework. The Conservation Evidence project has summarized thousands of studies testing conservation...
Preprint
Full-text available
Oil seed crops, especially oil palm, are among the most rapidly expanding agricultural land uses, and their expansion is known to cause significant environmental damage. Accordingly, these crops often feature in public and policy debates, which are hampered or biased by a lack of accurate information on environmental impacts. In particular, the lac...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Tapanuli orangutan ( Pongo tapanuliensis ) is the most threatened great ape species in the world. It is restricted to an area of about 1,000 km 2 of mostly hill forest where fewer than 800 animals survive in three declining subpopulations. Through a historical ecology approach involving analysis of colonial-era and other literature, we demonstr...
Article
Full-text available
There is a growing body of research indicating that drones can disturb animals. However, it is usually unclear whether the disturbance is due to visual or auditory cues. Here, we examined the effect of drone flights on the behaviour of great dusky swifts Cypseloides senex and white-collared swifts Streptoprocne zonaris in two breeding sites where d...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Modelling African great ape distribution has until now focused on current or past conditions, whilst future scenarios remain scarcely explored. Using an ensemble forecasting approach, we predicted changes in taxon-specific distribution under future scenarios of climate, land-use and human population changes. Location Sub-Saharan Africa Method...
Preprint
Full-text available
Orangutans (Pongo spp.) occur at low densities and therefore large areas are necessary to sustain viable metapopulations, defined here as sets of conspecific units of individuals linked by dispersal. Historically, orangutans lived in large contiguous areas of intact rainforest, but are now increasingly found in agricultural and other landscapes mod...
Article
Full-text available
Many nematode species are parasitic and threaten the health of plants and animals, including humans, on a global scale. Advances in DNA sequencing techniques have allowed for the rapid and accurate identification of many organisms including nematodes. However, the steps taken from sample collection in the field to molecular analysis and identificat...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the mechanisms facilitating coexistence within species assemblages is a key consideration for conservation as intact assemblages are necessary for maintaining full ecosystem function. The African large predator guild represents one of the few remaining functionally intact large predator assemblages on Earth, and as such, represents a...
Article
Full-text available
In contrast to the African great apes, orangutans (Pongo spp.) are semisolitary: Individuals are often on their own, but form aggregations more often than expected by chance. These temporary aggregations provide social benefits such as mating opportunities. When fruit availability is high, costs of aggregating should be lower, because competition i...
Article
Scent marking, where individuals deposit signals on objects in the environment, is a common form of chemical signalling in mammals and is thought to play a critical role in maintaining social organization within wide-ranging, spatially dispersed populations. Senders, however, can incur scent-marking costs through mark production, time investment in...
Article
Full-text available
A long-standing hypothesis in ecology and evolution is that trichromatic colour vision (the ability to distinguish red from green) in frugivorous primates has evolved as an adaptation to detect conspicuous (reddish) fruits. This could provide a competitive advantage over dichromatic frugivores which cannot distinguish reddish colours from a backgro...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Interactions between conservation and the social sciences are frequently characterized by either critique (of conservation by social scientists) or co‐optation (of social scientific methods and insights by conservationists). This article seeks to push beyond these two dominant positions by exploring how conservationists and social scientis...
Article
Full-text available
Populations of the Critically Endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) are declining despite more than 10 years of conservation action plan implementation. Here we analyzed the impacts on species' population and habitat from orangutan conservation strategies implemented between 2007 and 2017. We also assessed data on investments into orangutan...
Preprint
Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires balancing demands on land between agriculture (SDG 2) and biodiversity (SDG 15). The production of vegetable oils in general, and palm oil in particular, is perhaps the most controversial illustration of these trade-offs. Global annual demand for vegetable oil for food, animal feed and fu...
Article
Full-text available
The island of Borneo is a biodiversity hotspot of global importance that continues to suffer from one of the highest deforestation rates in the tropics. Selective logging concessions overlay a third of the remaining natural forests in the Indonesian part of Borneo, but many of these concessions have become inactive in recent years. Whereas the cess...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests and peatlands provide important ecological, climate and socio‐economic benefits from the local to the global scale. However, these ecosystems and their associated benefits are threatened by anthropogenic activities, including agricultural conversion, timber harvesting, peatland drainage and associated fire. Here, we identify key ch...
Article
Full-text available
Oil palm is rapidly expanding in Southeast Asia and represents one of the major drivers of deforestation in the region. This includes both industrial-scale and smallholder plantations, the management of which entails specific challenges, with either operational scale having its own particular social and environmental challenges. Although, past stud...
Article
Encounters between individuals can have implications for a range of processes, including disease transmission, information transfer and competition. For large carnivores, difficulties in directly observing individuals and historical hardware limitations of GPS collars mean that relatively little is known of the spatio‐temporal factors contributing...