Research Sites

Ganga Research Station

 

Ganga Research Station is located in Mbam et Djerem National Park (MDNP) in Cameroon.  At present, the station is manned 16 days/month by a staff of 6 to 8 researchers, under the direction of Ekowge Abwe (PhD Candidate, Drexel University).  The goal of the station is to quantify intra- and inter-site environmental and ecological variability and how these factors affect chimpanzee feeding and nesting behavior between chimpanzees found in ecotones (MDNP) versus primary rainforest (Ebo Forest), as these factors appear to correspond with promoting genetic diversity within P. t. ellioti. Biomonitoring involves a variety of activities, including monthly monitoring of several transects, regular monitoring of high-activities areas (e.g., termite mounds, favored feeding sites) and reconnaissance surveys.  Using the transect data, we classified the main habitat types including detailed vegetation analyses and details of chimpanzee nesting behavior and diet from collected fresh fecal samples.  By monitoring high-activity areas we have gathered data about tool use at termite mounds, subterranean ant nests and bee hives and regularly observed chimpanzees in the area.

Ebo Forest

 

The Ebo Forest is located in the Littoral Region of Cameroon and extends for more than 150,000 hectares, of which, about 110,000 hectares is proposed as a national park (Ebo National Park).  The forest is characterized by an elevation range between 200-1200 meters above sea level with open- and closed-canopy lowland and submontane vegetation classes of the Atlantic forest.  Within Ebo Forest, there are two research camps from which chimpanzee research is currently conducted: Njuma and Bekob.  The Njuma area lies to the west of the Ebo River that traverses the forest from north to south, and is composed of closed-canopy lowland rainforest that was selectively logged in the late 1970s.  At higher altitudes, closed-canopy submontane assemblages are still intact.