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1 February 2008 Habitat Selection at Two Spatial Scales and Diurnal Activity Patterns of Adult Female Forest Buffalo
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Abstract

Forest buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus) occur throughout the Congo Basin forest region of central Africa. Unlike for the well-studied Cape (or savanna) buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer), few data exist for forest buffalo. I tracked 7 radiocollared adult female forest buffalo at Lopé National Park, Gabon, over a 2-year period (2002–2004) to examine home ranges, habitat selection, and diurnal activity patterns. Home ranges of female forest buffalo averaged 4.55 km2 in area (mean number of locations per animal = 205); the percent of home-range overlap between individual radiocollared buffalo was small. Home ranges remained the same size and in the same locations over both study years. Distance analysis of habitat use from radiotracking data was used to assess forest buffalo habitat selection at 2 spatial scales. At the landscape scale, buffalo selected savanna and marsh habitat over forest habitat within a 72-km2 study area. Thus, forest buffalo home ranges were savanna-dominated despite the greater amount of forest habitat available in the overall landscape. At the scale of the home range (2.30–7.64 km2), habitat selection within home ranges varied with season. Adult female forest buffalo preferred forest habitat between March and August but preferred marsh to forest between September and February. Forest buffalo dwell in forest habitat, feed in savannas, and wallow in marshes, utilizing all habitat types in the landscape. Although the subspecies is forest-dwelling, forest buffalo depend on open habitat adjacent to continuous forest.

Lisa M. Korte "Habitat Selection at Two Spatial Scales and Diurnal Activity Patterns of Adult Female Forest Buffalo," Journal of Mammalogy 89(1), 115-125, (1 February 2008). https://doi.org/10.1644/06-MAMM-A-423.1
Accepted: 1 May 2007; Published: 1 February 2008
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