Abstract # 158:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation

The Cercopithecid Community of Sette Cama, Gabon: A Preliminary Study

C. Cooke
Ohio State University, 200 Lord Hall, 124 W 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43211, USA
     Gabon is home to numerous primate taxa including Gorilla gorilla gorilla (Western Lowland gorilla), Mandrillus sphinx (Mandrill), Cercocebus torquatus (Red-capped mangabey), Cercopithecus cephus (Moustached monkey), C. nictitans (Putty-nosed monkey), and Lophocebus albigenia (Grey-cheeked mangabey). The creation of a national parks system by the Gabonese president significantly improved long-term conservation efforts in the country. Nevertheless, areas outside of these parks feature high primate diversity and still need protection. One such area lies south of Petit Loango National Park near the village of Sette Cama. During July and August 2004, I conducted a preliminary investigation of the unhabituated primate community of Sette Cama, Gabon. The site includes three forest types: beach, terra firme, and mangrove. I followed transects through each forest type daily and recorded species present, canopy height, and distance from the transect. Preliminary results indicate the cercopithecids do not use the forest types evenly. For example, C. torquatus, the most abundant species, was primarily observed in terra firme forest (70%), followed by mangrove forest (24%) and beach forest (5%). The cercopithecids used all levels of the forest, but only C. torquatus was observed on the ground. Additionally, polyspecific associations occurred between C. torquatus and C. cephus in 30% of the encounters. Future studies at this site will help ascertain the niches of these taxa and provide crucial information on this poorly known primate community.