The relationship between the abundance of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) and its habitat: a conservation concern in Mbam-Djerem National Park, Cameroon. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Understanding the relationship between great apes and their habitat is essential for the development of successful conservation strategies. The chimpanzee Pan troglodytes ellioti is endemic to Nigeria and Cameroon, and occupies an ecologically diverse range of habitats from forests to forest-savannah mosaic in Mbam-Djerem National Park (MDNP) in Cameroon. The habitat variation in chimpanzees is poorly understood in MDNP which provides an excellent opportunity to assess ecological factors that shape the abundance and distribution patterns of P. t. ellioti over a small geographic scale. RESULTS: We counted 249 nests along 132km of transects in total. Of these, 119 nests along 68km occurred in dense forest and 130 nests along 64km in forest-savannah mosaic. Chimpanzee density was 0.88 [95% CI (0.55-1.41)] individuals/km2 in the dense forest and 0.59 [95% CI (0.19-1.76)] in the forest-savannah mosaic. Nest abundance varied with vegetation type and was higher in areas with dense canopy cover, steeper slopes and relatively higher altitudes. CONCLUSIONS: Our estimates of chimpanzee densities were lower than reported in other studied populations in the range of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee. However, we found that habitat features, slope and altitude likely play a role in shaping patterns of chimpanzee nesting ecology. Further studies need to be focused on nest decay rates and phenology of useful plants in order to model chimpanzee abundance and distribution in Mbam-Djerem National Park.

published proceedings

  • BMC Ecol

altmetric score

  • 3.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Kamgang, S. A., Bobo, K. S., Maisels, F., Ambahe, R., Ambassa Ongono, D. E., Gonder, M. K., ... Sinsin, B.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Kamgang, Serge Alexis||Bobo, Kadiri Serge||Maisels, Fiona||Ambahe, Ruffin Dupleix Delarue||Ambassa Ongono, Désiré Edgar||Gonder, Mary Katherine||Johnson, Paul||Marino, Jorgelina||Sinsin, Brice

publication date

  • October 2018