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Gaur's track in Cat Tien National Park

Blake S. 2002.
Forest buffalo prefer clearings to closed-canopy forest in the primary forest of northern Congo
Oryx 36: 81-86.

During 1993–2000 the conservation status of forest buffalo Syncerus caffer was investigated in the Nouabale´-Ndoki National Park region, northern Congo. Data from dung counts collected during a number of ecological reconnaissance surveys in and around the National Park showed that the preferred buffalo habitat was open canopy swamps and forest clearings associated with watercourses. Buffalo abundance was very low in terra firma forest more than 250m from water, and signs were restricted to large elephant trails connecting watercourses and clearings. The clumped distribution of the buffalo appeared to be a result of the highly patchy distribution of their food resources. In terra firma forest preferred food species were poorly represented, whereas in open swamp and sedge clearings they were more abundant. Low overall numbers, highly patchy distribution, small group size, and low effort-high return for hunters, including sport hunters, mean that buffalo must be considered a conservation priority in this environment.

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