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Station D'Etudes des Gorilles et Chimpanzes (SEGC) (1983)
Field Study in Africa
Location of Site: GABON

Director: Dr Katharine Abernethy
Phone: 00 241 07 53 99 60   E-Mail:
B.P. 7847, Libreville GABON
Institution: Centre International de Recherches Medicales de Franceville, Gabon

Sponsoring Institution(s): University of Stirling and the Wildlife Conservation Society

Research Objectives: Field studies related to the ecology and evolutionary biology and present day conservation of the Ogooue basin ecosystems in west central Africa and in particular the large mammals of these tropical rainforests.

Field Positions and Volunteers: 1) Behavior, ecology and population biology of sympatric gorilla "Gorilla gorilla" and "Pan troglodytes" popoulations in a 100km2 study zone, continuously followed since 1983; 2)Description and monitoring of rain forest vegetation dynamics, including botanical inventory, phenology patterns (monthly records for 1000 trees of approx. 100 species), growth rates for key tree species, seed dispersers and predators, forest successional dynamics, mortality and recruitment rates; effects of short and long term climate changes on productivity (El nino patterns, major climate trends) 3) Plant/primate interactions: Determinants of primate biomass, feeding competition, seed dispersal and predation 4) Vocalisation patterns of Mandrillus and Cercocebus 5) Evolutionary ecology of Mandrillus sphinx. All aspects of the mandrill's ecology: diet, ranging, group size, social biology, reproduction, health, predation, hunting pressure, genetic structure at family, group, horde and species levels. Mandrill Conservation policy. 6) Development of methods for efficient survey of primate populations in tropical rainforest. 7) National surveys and monitoring of primate populations, especially ape populations.

Training Opportunities: Educational opportunities available for: Graduate; Field work opportunities available; Program emphasis: Primate ecology; Plant ecology; Financial support rarely available; Note: Very limited number of places for Ph.D. and postdoctoral students - usually 1-2 places per year for candidates with their own confirmed funding and University acceptance.

Financial Aid: No

Number of Staff: 4

Species Studied: Gorilla gorilla (western gorilla), Pan troglodytes (common chimpanzee)

Comments: SEGC is a field research station of the Centre International de Recherches Medicales de Franceville, located in the north of Lope National Park, Gabon. Major funding for SEGC comes from CIRMF and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Thee organisations maintain 4 core staff (2 professional biologists and 2 research assistants) and funds for infrastructure and long term monitoring protocols. Research students are funded by personal grants.

Last Updated: 2006-09-01

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