The Bonobo Pan paniscus (Mammalia: Primates: Hominidae) nesting patterns and forest canopy layers in the Lake Tumba forests and Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

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Bila-Isia Inogwabini


The description and differentiation of habitat types is a major concern in ecology.  This study examined relationships between Bonobo Pan paniscus nesting patterns and forest structure in the Lake Tumba Swampy Forests. Data on presence of fresh Bonobo nests, canopy cover, canopy structure, tree densities and tree basal areas were collected systematically along 134 transects at 400m and 800m intervals, and the leaf-covered area (LCA) was calculated for each of seven forest types. I observed a significant correlation between bonobo nests and mixed mature forest/closed understory forest type (r=-0.730, df = 21, p <0.05), but not mixed mature forest/open understory, old secondary forest and young secondary forest.  Basal areas of non-nesting trees along transects did not differ significantly from those in sites where bonobos nested.  Higher LCA (55% and 55%) occurred in nesting sites when compared with non-nesting sites (39% and 42%) at elevations 4–8 m and 8–16 m above the soil.  There was greater leaf cover in the understorey at sites where bonobos did not nest, while there was greater leaf cover in the mid-storey at sites where bonobos did nest. 


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Inogwabini, B.-I. 2015. The Bonobo Pan paniscus (Mammalia: Primates: Hominidae) nesting patterns and forest canopy layers in the Lake Tumba forests and Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 7, 12 (Oct. 2015), 7853–7861. DOI:
Author Biography

Bila-Isia Inogwabini, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom Currently: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

Bila-Isia Inogwabini has a PhD in Wildlife Management from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. He has been working on applied conservation research for 20 years across central Africa. His current diversified scientific interests include applied primate conservation research.



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