A survey of the apes in the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, Central African Republic: A comparison between the census and survey methods of estimating the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) nest group density

A. Almasi, A. Blom, I.M.A. Heitkönig, J.B. Kpanou, H.H.T. Prins

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Abstract

A survey of apes was carried out between October 1996 and May 1997 in the Dzanga sector of the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, Central African Republic (CAR), to estimate gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) densities. The density estimates were based on nest counts. The strip transect census and the line transect survey method (Standing Crop Nest Count) were used to estimate the gorilla nest group density. The strip transect has been most commonly used to date. It assumes that all nest groups within the width of the strip are detected, but as this assumption is easily violated in the dense tropical rain forest, the line transect survey was also used. In this method, only the nest groups on the transect line itself should be detected. This method proved to be an adequate and easy technique for estimating animal densities in dense vegetation. The gorilla density of 1.6 individuals km2 (line transect survey method) found for the Dzanga sector is one of the highest densities ever reported in the literature for the Western lowland gorilla. The density estimate for chimpanzees was 0.16 individuals km2 (census method). The results of this study confirm the importance of the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park for primate conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-105
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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