The present study aimed to gather baseline information about chimpanzee nesting and density in Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park (LCNP), in Guinea-Bissau. Old and narrow trails were followed to estimate chimpanzee density through marked-nest counts and to test the effect of canopy closure (woodland savannah, forest with a sparse canopy, and forest with a dense canopy) on nest distribution. Chimpanzee abundance was estimated at 0.79 nest builders/km2, the lowest among the areas of Guinea-Bissau with currently studied chimpanzee populations. Our data suggest that sub-humid forest with a dense canopy accounts for significantly higher chimpanzee nest abundance (1.50 nests/km of trail) than sub-humid forest with a sparse canopy (0.49 nests/km of trail) or woodland savannah (0.30 nests/km of trail). Dense-canopy forests play an important role in chimpanzee nesting in the patchy and highly humanized landscape of LCNP. The tree species most frequently used for nesting are Dialium guineense (46 %) and Elaeis guineensis (28 %). E. guineensis contain nests built higher in the canopy, while D. guineense contain nests built at lower heights. Nests observed during baseline sampling and replications suggest seasonal variations in the tree species used for nest building.
- Canopy closure
- Estimating density
- Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park
- Marked-nest counts