Mbeli Bai, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, R. P. Congo
Mbeli Bai Gorilla Study in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park (NNNP)
northern Republic of Congo, 2° 15' .600 N, 16° 24' . 758 E
- National Park
3.0 km2 (Mbeli Bai); 4000 km2 (entire park)
330 - 600 m
Avg. daily temp. 1995: 28.4° (min. 22.9° max. 33.7°);
Avg. daily temp 1996: 27.6° (min.22.0° max. 33.3°)
1246 - 1267 mm, 1995 - 1996
Mainly primary forest; Sterculiaceae-Ulmaceae semi-deciduous forest type including areas of Raphia spp. swamps; riverine and inland Gilbertiodendron dewevrei forests; Marantaceae forest; marshy clearings (bais) dominated by species of Cyperaceae such as
- Human Influence:
Some hunting, particularly elephant poaching prior
to 1990 in and around the bai and close to the NE border of the park; no
logging; no provisioning.
1, 1, 1, 1*, 1
* 3 at Mbeli Bai since the gorillas are
very well habituated to the presence of people on observation platforms.
- Closest village:
20 km from SE border of park
- Species studied:
Gorilla gorilla gorilla
- Pop. Density:
- Fauna (partial list):
Pan troglodytes troglodytes, Cercopithecus ascanius, C. cephus,
C. neglectus, C. nictitans nictitans, C. pogonias, Cercocebus albigena, C.
agilis, Colobus guereza, Galagoides sp., Panthera pardus, Genetta spp., Aonyx
capensis, Lutra maculicollis, Dendrohyrax arboreus, Phataginus tricuspis, Loxodanta africana cyclotis, Syncerus caffer nanus, Potamochoerus porcus, Hylochoerus meinertzhageni, Tragelaphus spekei, Cephalophus silvicultor, C. monticola, C. nigrifrons, C. callipygus, Hyemoschus aquaticus, Orycteropus afer
- Study period:
1993 - 1994 (pilot studies); 1995 - present (May 1999)
Excellent for the gorillas at the bai from observation
platforms; poor in the forest. However, there are a few groups that visit
the bai regularly which could probably be habituated to following in the
future. Fair for chimpanzees when they are seen around the bai or
encountered in the forest. A pilot study/chimp survey is currently
underway in a part of the park (began March '99).
- Research presence:
The NNNP is a Wildlife Conservation Society project so
there are a number of training and conservation education programs
underway or planned including some ecotourism. At Mbeli, we have trained
some Congolese students, have hosted a number of government officials/their
families and distributed project related t-shirts. Videos filmed at the
bai have been shown to people living in the local villages and
- Current research:
Mbeli gorilla social dynamnics, behavior, demography
and ecology; mother - infant relationships, finer aspects of communication
Focal - subject and group scan sampling, ad libitum and
- Contact person:
In the U.S.: Claudia Olejniczak (Principal
Investigator 1995-1996) Dept. of Anthropology Washington University St.
Louis, Missouri; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org In the Rep. of Congo:
Richard Parnell (current P.I.) Nouabale-Ndoki Project B.P. 14537
Brazzaville Rep. of Congo or e-mail (but he is unable to reply via
e-mail): email@example.com OR J.M. Fay (Director, Nouabale-Ndoki
Project thru mid-1999) same mail address; e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org OR Brian Curran (Director,
Nouabale-Ndoki Project beginning May 1999; address pending)
- Habitat photos:
- Aerial photos:
- Blake, S., Rogers, E.M., Fay, J.M., Ngangoue, M. and Ebiki, G. (1995).
Swamp Gorillas in the Northern Congo. African J. Ecol. 33:285-290.
- Fay, J.M. (1994). The Nouabali-Ndoki Project. Gorilla Conser. News 8:
- Fay, J.M. (1997). The Ecology, Social Organization, Populations, Habitat
and History of the Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla
Savage and Wyman 1847). Ph.D. Thesis, Washington Univ. St. Louis, Mo.,
Univ. Microfilms Intl., Ann Arbor, MI.
- Fay, J. M., Agnagna, M. , Moore, J. and Oko, R. (1989). Gorillas (G. g.
gorilla) in the Likouala Swamp Forests of North Central Congo:
Preliminary Data on Populations and Ecology. Intl. J. Primatol.10(5): 477-486.
- Olejniczak, C.L. (1994a). Report on Pilot Study of Western Lowland
Gorillas at Mbeli Bai. Gorilla Conser. News 8: 9-11.
- Olejniczak, C.L. (1994b). Results of Western Lowland Gorilla Pilot Study
at Mbeli Bai. unpub. report to WCS Project staff.
- Olejniczak, C.L. (1996). Update on the Mbeli Bai Gorilla Study,
Nouabali-Ndoki National Park, Northern Congo. Gorilla Conser. News 10: 5-8.
- Olejniczak, C.L. (1997). 1996 Update on the Mbeli Bai Gorilla Study,
Nouabali-Ndoki National Park, Congo. Gorilla Conser. News. 11:7-10.
More info and photos available at http://artsci.wustl.edu/~anthro/research/claudia.html including link
to Gorilla Conservation News web page.