International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 679

Article in Press

Using fruiting Ape food trees (Myrianthus holstii) to count sympatric mammals at Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Augustin K. Basabose, Eric M. Mihingano, Michael B. Nyakabeji, Moon M. Murhula, Marcel K. Bibentyo, Conscient N. Ombeni, Salomon M. Bazibuhe

  •  Received: 23 December 2023
  •  Accepted: 21 June 2024
Understanding the diversity and distribution of flora and fauna, and their interactions, is a prerequisite for a successful protected area management program. Between 2020 and 2022, we installed camera traps at 34 different stations in front of fruiting Myrianthus holstii trees, a species which fruits are eaten by various mammal species. A total of 699 photos and videos were recorded. At least 23 mammal species were identified to have visited the fruiting Myrianthus trees. Cephalophus dorsalis, Cricetomys gambianus, Gorilla beringei graueri, Allochrocebus lhoesti, and Pan troglodytes schweinfurtii were the most frequent with high relative abundance index (RAI). Activity period for most observed 10 mammal species revealed 60 % of diurnal, 30 % nocturnal and 10% of cathemeral species. The amount of M. holstii fruits (estimated by the tree DBH) didn’t influence the visit frequency of mammal species. Ripe fruits of M. holstii may attract a wide diversity of sympatric mammals inhabiting Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP). This study suggests that fruiting trees with camera traps may be used as a cost-effective approach to conduct census of sympatric mammals.

Keywords: Camera traps, mammals census, fruiting trees, Kahuzi-Biega National Park