SURVEYS FROM THE SUBRI RIVER FOREST, GHANA

Paul J. Buzzard & Atingah John A. Parker
African Primates
- 2012

The forests in southwest Ghana are part of the West African Forest biodiversity hotspot and contain a diverse anthropoid primate community. This community is especially threatened, and for effective primate conservation in Ghana it is necessary to conduct comprehensive surveys in all forests to determine where to focus efforts. The largest forest reserve (FR) in Ghana is the Subri River FR (590 km2), and the status of primates at this reserve is not well known. In 2009 and 2010, hunters at Subri River FR claimed the presence of Endangered species, including Miss Waldron’s red colobus (Piliocolobus badius waldroni), roloway monkeys (Cercopithecus diana roloway) and white-naped mangabeys (Cercocebus atys lunulatus). The objective of this paper is to report on the investigation of these claims and to assess the remaining primate populations. We conducted 29 reconnaissance (recce) walks in the southwest, north, and southeast of Subri River FR, totaling 125.6 km and 110.5 hours. We had five encounters each with spot-nosed monkeys (Cercopithecus petaurista) and Lowe’s monkeys (C. campbelli lowei), and it is likely that viable populations of these species still exist; we also heard many reports of the highly cryptic olive colobus (Procolobus verus), and it is likely that viable populations of this species also exist. We found no sign of the Endangered primate species but saw much potential habitat for mangabeys in swampy areas of the south, and we received reports of the presence of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). Subri River FR deserves more conservation attention. Future surveys should be conducted in the north-central area, and camera traps should be utilized in potential mangabey habitat. There also is an opportunity to develop ecotourism given the reserve’s proximity to Takoradi, which already has ecotourism options.

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