Encounter rates and group sizes of diurnal primate species of Mole National Park, Ghana

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Edward Debrah Wiafe


Primate species are not widely explored in Ghana’s savannah ecosystems.  We report data on encounter rates and group sizes of primates at the Mole National Park in Ghana.  Forty transects, each of 5km length, were randomly laid in the park for the study.  Four species of primates were visually recorded during field surveys: Olive Baboon Papio anubis, Patas Monkey Erythrocebus patas, Green Monkey Chlorocebus sabaeus and Colobus vellerosus.  The status of C. vellerosus is Critically Endangered, the status of the other species is Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List.  Encounter rates (groups/km) were 0.98, 0.65 and 0.45 for Olive Baboons, Patas Monkeys and Green Monkeys respectively.  The mean group sizes were: Olive Baboon 10.8 (SE=1.1, range=1-38), Patas Monkey 12.2 (SE=3.3, range=1-35), and Green Monkey 10.0 (SE=1.9, range=1-25).  Only one group of White-thighed Colobus with a group size of six was encountered.  Encounter rates and group sizes of the same species varied in different parts of the park, and factors such as resource distribution and security against secret hunting may have influenced this variation.  Authors recommend further studies to facilitate better understanding of these primates.

Article Details

Author Biography

Edward Debrah Wiafe, Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, Presbyterian University College, P.O. Box 393, Akropong-Akuapem, Ghana.

 Dr. Edward D. Wiafe is the Dean, Faculty of Development Studies, Presbyterian University, Ghana. He is a member of the IUCN/Species Specialist Group/ African Primates; International Primatological Society and Office holder in IUFRO. At the moment, he is currently working on human-wildlife conflict and food security.


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