Estimation of Chimpanzee’s (Pan Troglodytes Ellioti) Abundance in the KimbiFungum National Park and Kom-Wum Forest Reserve, Nw, Cameroon
The 2011 Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of the NigerianCameroon Chimpanzee recommends that wherever possible estimates should be made of chimpanzee abundances, because these data will illustrate population declines and the seriousness of the conservation situation facing the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee. The aim of this study was to estimate the encounter rate of the isolated population of P. t. ellioti in the Kimbi-Fungum National Park (K-FNP) and Kom-Wum Forest Reserve (K-WFR), to determine their distribution and human influence within their habitat range. Data collections were obtained through recces walk, whereby direct and indirect (dung, tools and nests) observations of bio-indicators of chimpanzees and human signs (farms, hunter’s camp, grazing areas) were recorded. The zone was subdivided into quadrates of 2km x 2km giving a total of 22 and 21 quadrates K-FNP and K-WFR respectively. Inside each sampled quadrate, a recce of 2km long oriented in a random manner was established which generated a sampling effort of 86km. From the result, four (4) chimpanzees were directly observed in the K-WFR giving an encounter rate of 0.1 signs per km. Up to 48 and 474 chimpanzees nests were registered with encounter rate
of 1.09 and 11.3 signs per km in the K-FNP and K-WFR respectively. Spatial distribution maps show high concentrated of chimpanzee’s signs in the Northern sections of the K-WFR and few observations in the northern section of the K-FNP. Farming and hunting were the highest anthropogenic activity recorded in the K-FNP and K-WFR with an encounter rate of 0.48 and 1.19 signs per km respectively. As a result of high human influences, effective conservation strategies through sensitization campaign and participatory approach should be intensify to preserve the fast declining chimpanzees remaining in the study areas.