B.A. in Biology, Conservation Biology - Arcadia University
The harvesting of wildlife is common throughout the developing world as a means for people to meet many of their food and livelihood needs. Bushmeat, the commonly used term describing wildlife hunted for human consumption, represents a highly valuable non-timber forest product across the forested zones of Africa, Asia, and the Neotropics. Once thought to be strictly a subsistence practice, bushmeat hunting has shifted to an organized commercial venture, surpassing even habitat loss in some areas as the primary threat to tropical forest vertebrates. As a result of this increased pressure, vertebrate populations are in decline across much of the tropics, with some populations driven to extirpation even in the absence of additional forms of habitat disturbance. In the forests of west and central Africa, the volume of harvest is not only extremely high, but also increasingly damaging, with estimates suggesting that over 60% of mammalian taxa are being exploited unsustainably. Local extinctions have already been documented as a result of hunting in areas of low human population density. In the Gulf of Guinea, where the human population is rising, the demand for bushmeat will inextricably increase and will likely lead to the progressive depletion of vertebrate taxa throughout the region.
My specific research interest pertains to the influence of bushmeat hunting on the diurnal primates of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Bioko Island is home to eleven species of primates, including seven endemic subspecies, of which six are endangered. In addition to its diversity, the overall relative density of primates on Bioko is comparatively higher than many sites throughout Africa, making it one of the most important places in Africa for the conservation of primates. The only threat to the persistence of these primates on Bioko is illegal bushmeat hunting. My research will aim to determine the impact of hunting on the primates of Bioko Island by assessing the relationship between hunting, bushmeat sales, and primate distribution and abundance. In doing so, my study will seek to provide policy-makers in Equatorial Guinea with information on the extent of bushmeat hunting throughout Bioko, the current status and population trends of the primate species, and the effect that bushmeat hunting has on primate abundance. This study will be critical to informing conservation decisions in both short- and long-term management on Bioko, and becomes especially important when considering efforts to conserve the Bioko red colobus (Procolobus pennantii pennantii) and the Bioko drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus poensis), both endemic, endangered subspecies, which may already have very limited ranges and may have no hope for continued existence without immediate conservation action.
I first became involved with the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP) in 2005, when I traveled to Bioko as an Arcadia University undergraduate study abroad student. In this first trip, I became enamored with Bioko as a place both culturally and scientifically. Shortly after completion of my B.A., I was offered the position of Resident Director of the Study Abroad program by Arcadia University’s Center for Education Abroad. While acting as the Resident Director, during the 2007-2008 academic year, I decided to pursue an advanced degree, with the natural choice being Bioko Island as a study site and continuing to work in conjunction with the BBPP. I was accepted to Drexel University and began work towards my Ph.D. in Environmental Science in the fall of 2008.
Cronin, D.T., C.. Riaco, and G.W. Hearn. Survey of Threatened Monkeys in the Iladyi River Valley Region, Southeastern Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. (In review)
Cronin, D.T., M.B. Libalah, R.A. Bergl, and G.W. Hearn. Conservation and management of tropical montane ecosystems in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea. (In review)
Cronin, D. T., S. Woloszynek, M. P. O'Conner, W. Morra, and G. Hearn. Long term trends in an urban bushmeat market on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea (1997-2010).(In Prep)
Cronin, D. T., S. Woloszynek, M. P. O'Conner, W. Morra, and G. Hearn. Seasonal dynamics of bushmeat hunting in the Malabo bushmeat market (1997-2010). (In Prep)
Cronin, D. T., D. Bocuma Meñe, T. B. Butynski, J. M. E. Echube, G. W. Hearn, S. Honarvar, J. R. Owens, and C. P. Bohome. 2010. Opportunities Lost: The Rapidly Deteriorating Conservation Status of the Monkeys on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea (2010). A Report to the Government of Equatorial Guinea by the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Drew T. CroninDrexel University
Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Science
3245 Chestnut St.
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Rm. 503
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: PISB 503Phone: (215) 895-6906