Diet selection and density estimates of forest buffalo in Campo-Ma'an National Park, Cameroon

P. Bekhuis, C.B. de Jong, H.H.T. Prins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied diet selection and density of forest buffalo in the Campo Ma'an National Park of southern Cameroon. The buffalo's diet in this rainforest comprised 43% grass, including 15%Leptochloa caerulecens. Other species eaten were non-graminoid monocots (21.3%), mainly Commelinaceae (18.2%), including Palisota spp. and dicotyledons (32.7%), mainly leaves (26.5%). This diet revealed that buffalo collect their food on road verges, logging tracks and along large rivers. This agrees well with the distribution of buffalo tracks in the study area. Mean buffalo density in the forest was only 0.01 buffalo km¿2, whereas the density on the road together with its direct surroundings was 0.4 buffalo per km of road. We estimated the total number of buffalo in the 650 km2 southern part of National Park Campo-Ma'an of only twenty individuals. We suggest that the buffalo's ancestral niche was not a primeval type of rainforest, as suggested by Kingdon, but an interface between savanna and rainforest. The Campo-Ma'an buffalo most likely depend to a very large extent on anthropogenic vegetation types. Maintaining some grass cover by annual clear-cutting along roads and on logging tracks might be necessary for the survival of the buffalo population within the National Park
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-675
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • microhistological analysis
  • rain-forest
  • populations
  • herbivores
  • biomass

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