All-You-Can-Eat: Influence of Proximity to Maize Gardens on the Wild Diet and the Forest Activities of the Sebitoli Chimpanzee Community in Kibale National Park - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Animals Year : 2022

All-You-Can-Eat: Influence of Proximity to Maize Gardens on the Wild Diet and the Forest Activities of the Sebitoli Chimpanzee Community in Kibale National Park

Chloé Couturier
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John-Paul Okimat
Edward Asalu
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Sabrina Krief

Abstract

Frugivorous primates have developed several strategies to deal with wild fruit scarcity, such as modifying their activity budget or enlarging their diet. Agricultural expansion threatens primate habitats and populations (e.g., disease transmission, agrochemical exposure), but it also increases crop feeding opportunities. We aimed at understanding whether maize presence close to the natural habitat of chimpanzees, a threatened species, would lead to significant behavioral modifications. We monitored 20 chimpanzees over 37 months in Kibale National Park, Uganda, with maize gardens at the forest edge. Based on focal nest-to-nest data, we analyzed their diet, activity budget, and energy balance depending on wild fruit and maize availability. We found that the Sebitoli area is a highly nutritive habitat for chimpanzees, with large and caloric wild fruits available all year long. The chimpanzees opportunistically consume maize and exploit it by resting less during maize season. However, no significant variation was found in daily paths and energy expenditures according to maize availability. No behavioral or energy modification was observed regarding wild resources either. Despite the availability of nutritious domestic resources, chimpanzees still exploit wild fruits and do not limit their movements. Thus, their contribution to seed dispersal and forest regeneration in this area is not affected.
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Dates and versions

hal-03617797 , version 1 (23-03-2022)

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Chloé Couturier, Sarah Bortolamiol, Sylvia Ortmann, John-Paul Okimat, Edward Asalu, et al.. All-You-Can-Eat: Influence of Proximity to Maize Gardens on the Wild Diet and the Forest Activities of the Sebitoli Chimpanzee Community in Kibale National Park. Animals, 2022, 12 (7), pp.806. ⟨10.3390/ani12070806⟩. ⟨hal-03617797⟩
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