International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 759–773 | Cite as

Conservation of Drill Populations in Bakossiland, Cameroon: Historical Trends and Current Status

  • Chris Wild
  • Bethan J. Morgan
  • Alan DixsonEmail author


Very little information is available on the current status of drill populations in Cameroon. We report on drill group sizes and status in Bakossiland, a mountainous area spanning 2000 km2 in the Littoral and South West Provinces of southwestern Cameroon. Between 1970 and 2002 direct visual counts of drill groups (n = 105) yielded group size estimates ranging from 5 to 400 (mean ± S.E.M.; 93.1 ± 8.4). We encountered solitary adult male drills on 8 occasions. Groups were at all elevations (150–2000 m) in 5 habitat types: lowland, premontane, submontane and montane forests and montane savannah at 2000 m). Group sizes did not vary with respect to elevation, habitat type or season (wet and dry mo). However, over the past decade drills have been virtually hunted out of the Mwenzekong Mountains (Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary), and they are greatly reduced in the southern Bakossi forests of Mwendolengo, Edib Hills and Mungo River. The species became extinct in the Loum Forest Reserve in the late 1970s, and until recently was thought to have become extinct on Mount Mwanenguba. Since 1994 on Mount Kupe, the drill population has begun to recover, largely due to protection afforded by the Bakossi traditional chiefs. Traditional powers and values are still influential in the region. A new national park—Bakossi Mountains National Park— and associated Protected Areas are currently under gazettment. We discuss the effectiveness of conservation strategies in relation to the survival of drills in the area.


drill Mandrillus leucophaeus Cameroon group size conservation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abernethy, K. A., White, L. J. T. and Wickings, E. J. (2002). Hordes of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx): extreme group size and seasonal male presence. J. Zoology Lond.) 258 (1): 131–137.Google Scholar
  2. Cheek, M. (2000). The Plants of Mount Oku and Ijim Ridge, Cameroon: A Conservation Checklist. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.Google Scholar
  3. Dixson, A. F., Bossi, T. and Wickings, E. J. (1993). Male dominance and genetically determined reproductive success in the mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx). Primates 34 (4): 525–532.Google Scholar
  4. Dixson, A. F., Harvey, N. C., Patton, M. L. and Setchell, J. M. (2003). Behaviour and Reproduction. In Holt, W.V. et al. (eds.), Reproduction and Integrated Conservation Science, Cambridge University Press, U.K., pp. 24–41.Google Scholar
  5. Ejedepang-Koge, S. N. (1986). Tradition of a People Bakossi. ARC Publications, Yaound’e.Google Scholar
  6. Gadsby, E. L. and Jenkins, P. D. (1997-1998). The drill – integrated in situand ex situ conservation. African Primates 3 (1-2): 12–18.Google Scholar
  7. Gartlan, J. S. (1970). Preliminary notes on the ecology and behaviour of the drill, Mandrillus leucophaeus Ritgen 1824. In Napier, J.R. and Napier, P.H. (eds.), Old World Monkeys: Evolution, Systematics and Behaviour. Academic Press, New York, pp. 445–480.Google Scholar
  8. Grubb, P. (1973). Distribution, divergence and speciation of the drill and mandrill. Folia Primatol. 20: 161–177.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Hill, W. C. O. (1970). Primates, Comparative Anatomy and Taxonomy, Vol. 8. Cynopithecinae, Papio, Mandrillus, Theropithecus. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, U.K.Google Scholar
  10. Hoshino, J., Mori, A., Kudo, H. and Kawai, M. (1984). Preliminary report on the groupings of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) in Cameroon. Primates 25 (3): 295–307.Google Scholar
  11. King, S. (1994). Utilisation of wildlife in Bakossiland, West Cameroon with particular reference to primates. Traffic Bulletin 14 (2): 63–73.Google Scholar
  12. Kingdon, J. (1997). The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press.Google Scholar
  13. Maté, C. and Colell, M. (1995). Relative abundance of forest cercopithecines in Arihá, Bioko Island, Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Folia Primatol. 64: 49–54.Google Scholar
  14. Oates, J. F. (1996). African Primates: Status survey and Conservation Action Plan. Revised Edition. IUCN/Species Survival Commission (SSC), Primate Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  15. Setchell, J. M. and Dixson, A. F. (2002). Developmental variables and dominance rank in adolescent male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Am. J. Primatol. 56: 9–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Thomas, D. (1986). Vegetation in the montane forests of Cameroon. In Stuart, S.N. (ed.), Conservation of Cameroon Montane Forests. Report of the ICBP Cameroon Montane Forest Survey. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K., pp. 20–27.Google Scholar
  17. Usongo, L. (1998). Conservation status of primates in Cameroon. Primate Conservation 18: 59–65.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations