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Populations of Great Apes, specifically chimpanzees and gorillas, are declining toward extinction. Initially, their extinction rate was attributed to habitat loss and poaching, but Ebola virus disease has become a major threat. Our research looks at the spatial, temporal, and anthropogenic factors that affect the transmission of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Great Apes in West Central Africa and mitigating the effects of these factors. Bats are considered a likely transmission vector through which Ebola virus is transmitted to apes. EVD is spread through contact with bodily fluids of an infected host. Spatially, bat and Great Ape population ranges overlap, providing the opportunity for bats to spread Ebola to apes. Temporally, Ebola emergence often occurs during the transition between rainy and dry season in West Central Africa. This transitional period also correlates to a decrease in food availability. With less food, apes and bats are likely to spend more time foraging in the same places, increasing interactions and potential Ebola transmission as a result. Anthropogenic habitat changes, such as logging and deforestation, also push apes and bats closer together. Additionally, hunting apes exposes both humans and apes to EVD when they come into contact with the bodily fluids of infected ape carcasses. Furthermore, human caused climate change affects rainy and dry season transition periods. Understanding how Ebola virus disease spreads can help us create the most effective solutions for reducing spread such as vaccinating bats and reducing anthropogenic effects to Great Ape habitat.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
12.3 MB



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Poster Session

  • Event date
    • 26 March 2021

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Jason D. Lang