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Seasonal changes in habitat use by chimpanzees in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda: Application of marked nest count method.

Takeshi Furuichi (Meiji-Gakuin University), Chie Hashimoto, Yasuko Tashiro (Kyoto University)

     The Kalinzu Forest Reserve in Uganda consists of various types of vegetation including mixed mature, Parinari dominant mature, Parinari dominant secondary, and Musanga dominant secondary forests. This study aimed to monitor the seasonal changes in use of these vegetation by chimpanzees, using a developed marked nest count method. Ten parallel census lines, 5km long each and with 500m space between lines, were set in the study area. After marking old nests by repeated preparatory censuses, we carried out nest censuses along the ten lines for ten times with intervals of 15 days for a period of 5 months. In each census, we recorded information on unmarked nests visible from the lines, and marked them for the next census. After recording nests from the lines, we searched other neighboring nests that were of the same aging class and within 30m from the nearest one, in order to estimate the number of nests in a group. Estimated density of nest building individuals in the whole study area was 1.55 ± 0.