Spatial distribution of primates in a mosaic of colonizing and old growth forest at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda
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- Lwanga, J.S. Primates (2006) 47: 230. doi:10.1007/s10329-005-0173-5
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Primate censuses were conducted in a mosaic of colonizing (two locations) and old-growth forests using line transect methods at the Ngogo study site, Kibale National Park, Uganda. Black and white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) were encountered more frequently in the colonizing forests than in the old growth forest, while chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) were encountered more frequently in the old growth forest than in colonizing forests. Although not significant, results suggest that blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis) frequented colonizing forests more often than old growth forest. The encounter rates of mangabey (Lophocebus albigena), and redtail (Cercopithecus ascanius) groups were ambiguous with their density being higher in some colonizing forests but not others as compared to old-growth forest. No significant differences were detected for baboons (Papio anubis), L’hoest’s (Cercopithecus lhoesti), and red colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus tephroscales). The conversion of forests to farmland is one of the major problems encountered in primate conservation. This study shows that secondary forests replacing anthropogenic grasslands have the potential of supporting some primate species such as black and white colobus, redtail monkeys, and possibly blue monkeys. Therefore, such areas should not be given up but should be conserved for the benefit of primates that can survive in secondary forests; as the forests mature further, primate species that are adapted to old growth forest will colonize the area provided there is a nearby source.