Patterns of frugivory of the Budongo Forest chimpanzees, Uganda
Lye, Kare A.
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Frugivory patterns of the chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda were studied between June 2000 and August 2001. Chimpanzee feeding habitats, movement, group size and food eaten were assessed using focal and scan sampling. It was found that fruits were scarce during the dry season, when chimpanzees appeared and moved in large groups over long distances and raided farms at the forest edge. Chimpanzee movement out of the forest to forage was influenced by seasonal fluctuations in availability of preferred foods as some cultivated crops are perennial. Presence of chimpanzees in a specific feeding habitat was related to the availability of edible fruits both within and between months, suggesting that the presence of food may influence chimpanzee movement patterns. Therefore, a good understanding of patterns of frugivory is essential for making informed decisions about conservation of chimpanzees and other frugivores like birds and monkeys in Budongo as different forest habitats are under varying human pressure because of logging and other forms of utilization.