As tropical Asia nears its capacity for oil-palm plantations, Africa has become the new frontier for this crop, which offers excellent economic prospects in countries with appropriate rainfall, soil and temperature conditions (Rival and Lavang 2014).
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Unfortunately, these areas coincide with thousands of hectares of rainforest because it’s suitable for oil palm (Wich et al. 2014). The spread of these plantations is likely to hit all animal populations hard in the coming years. This situation is of special concern for animals living outside protected areas. Changes caused by the rapid transformation of their habitat can have profound impacts on their diet, activity patterns, dispersal and ranging patterns, as well as introducing new pathogens and other risks linked to close proximity with people (Ancrenaz et al. 2015).
Many species of primates, mammals, birds and reptiles are either directly or indirectly threatened by the replacement of rainforest habitat with oil palm plantations located in palm oil hotspots in Africa such as the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These animals have an IUCN Red List status of Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.