Activity and Habitat Use of Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Anthropogenic Landscape of Bossou, Guinea, West Africa
Nicola Bryson-Morrison, Joseph Tzanopoulos, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Tatyana Humle
Many primate populations inhabit anthropogenic landscapes. Understanding their long-term ability to persist in such environments and associated real and perceived risks for both primates and people is essential for effective conservation planning. Primates in forest–agricultural mosaics often consume cultivars to supplement their diet, leading to potentially negative encounters with farmers. When crossing roads, primates also face the risk of encounters with people and collision with vehicles. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Bossou, Guinea, West Africa, face such risks regularly. In this study, we aimed to examine their activity budget across habitat types and the influence of anthropogenic risks associated with cultivated fields, roads, and paths on their foraging behavior in noncultivated habitat. We conducted 6-h morning or afternoon follows daily from April 2012 to March 2013. Chimpanzees preferentially used forest habitat types for traveling and resting and highly disturbed habitat types for socializing. Wild fruit and crop availability influenced seasonal habitat use for foraging. Overall, chimpanzees preferred mature forest for all activities. They showed a significant preference for foraging at >200 m from cultivated fields compared to 0–100 m and 101–200 m, with no effect of habitat type or season, suggesting an influence of associated risk. Nevertheless, the chimpanzees did not actively avoid foraging close to roads and paths. Our study reveals chimpanzee reliance on different habitat types and the influence of human-induced pressures on their activities. Such information is critical for the establishment of effective land use management strategies in anthropogenic landscapes.
Forest-agricultural mosaic, Habitat selection, Human-wildlife coexistence, Risk perception