Abstract # 5949 Poster # 145:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


USING VIDEO CAMERA TRAPS TO STUDY THE BEHAVIOR OF THE NEWLY ANNOUNCED GUENON LESULA, CERCOPITHECUS LOMAMIENSIS, FROM THE LOMAMI RIVER BASIN, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

S. G. McPhee1, P. Ayali2, J. A. Hart2 and K. M. Detwiler1
1Florida Atlantic Univesity, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA, 2Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation, 1235 Poids Lourd Avenue, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
line
     In September 2012, a new species of primate was discovered in a remote stretch of the Lomami River Basin in Central Democratic Republic of the Congo. To learn more about the behavior of this newly discovered species, Cercopithecus lomamiensis (commonly known as lesula), we examined three-camera trap studies conducted between 2012 and 2013. Two small-scale pilot studies were conducted at the lightly hunted Losekola research site (camera trap days = 461 and 245) within the proposed Lomami National Park, and a full-scale survey was conducted at the heavily hunted Okulu site (camera trap days = 2269) in an adjacent community conservation forest. For the Okulu survey we used videos rather than the standard three-picture sequence traditionally used in camera trap studies, and collected between 20 – 90 seconds of 720p HD footage per camera trap trigger. The video data confirm lesula’s terrestriality, minimum group size of 11 individuals, single-male/multi-female group composition, and expand known diet items to include insects and new plant families. We documented mixed-species associations between lesula and two species, Peter’s duiker (Cephalophus callipygus) and red-tailed monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius). We also observed a minimum of two individuals who had recovered from arm amputations presumably from hunter ground snares. We found the use of video camera traps to be highly effective at gathering behavioral information on this cryptic, difficult to observe species.