Effects of Human Presence on Chimpanzee Nest Location in the Lebialem-Mone Forest Landscape, Southwest Region, CameroonLast C.a · Muh B.b
aUniversity of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada; bEnvironment and Rural Development Foundation, Molyko Buea, Cameroon
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In several areas of Africa, great apes experience increasing predation pressure as a result of human activities. In this study, terrestrial and arboreal nest construction among chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) populations was investigated in the Lebialem-Mone Forest Landscape (LMFL), Southwest Region, Cameroon, to examine the anthropogenic effects on nest location. Data on the height, distribution and approximate age of chimpanzee night nests were collected during two 4-week primate field surveys (July to August 2010; July 2011) at two field sites (Bechati and Andu) within the LMFL. Data were collected using the line transect method. Chimpanzee night nests were categorized by their location: arboreal versus terrestrial. During the two field surveys, arboreal night nests were the most frequently constructed nest type at both sites, and the only type of night nest constructed at Bechati. Terrestrial night nests were also constructed at Andu. The main difference between these two sites is the level of human predation and agricultural development. At Bechati chimpanzees inhabit forest regions around dense, expanding villages and are regularly hunted by humans. However, at Andu the chimpanzee populations are not under the same threat. Therefore, terrestrial night nest construction in the LMFL appears to be a behavior exhibited where there is less human presence.
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