A comparison of methods to determine chimpanzee home-range size in a forest–farm mosaic at Madina in Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau

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Abstract

Human activities impact the distribution of numerous species. Anthropogenic habitats are often fragmented, and wildlife must navigate through human-influenced and ‘natural’ parts of the landscape to access resources. Different methods to determine the home-range areas of nonhuman primates have not considered the additional complexities of ranging in anthropogenic areas. Here, using 6 months of spatial data on the distribution of chimpanzee presence (feces, feeding traces, nests, opportunistic encounters; n = 833) collected across the wet and dry seasons, we examine different analytical techniques to calculate the home-range size of an unhabituated chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) community inhabiting a forest–farm mosaic at Madina, Cantanhez National Park in Guinea-Bissau. The minimum convex polygon method and the grid cell (500 m × 500 m cell size) method estimated the chimpanzees home-range size at 19.02 and 15.50 km2, respectively with kernel analysis calculating a lower value of 8.52 km2. For the grid cell method, home-range estimates varied with cell size, with larger cells producing larger estimates. We compare our home-range estimates with other chimpanzee research sites across Africa. We recommend the use of kernel analysis for determining primate home ranges, especially for those groups exploiting fragmented habitats including forest–farm mosaics, as this method takes account of inaccessible or infrequently used anthropogenic areas across the complete home range of the primate group. However, care must be taken when using this method, since it is sensitive to small sample sizes that can occur when studying unhabituated communities, resulting in underestimated home ranges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
JournalPrimates
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Anthropogenic habitats
  • Chimpanzees
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Human–wildlife interactions
  • Primate home-range analysis

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