dja reserve

Research Project | 2016

Dja Reserve

For the past 20 years, we have been conducting research in the Dja Biosphere Reserve and adjacent areas.  The Dja Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in South Central Cameroon. The reserve comprises over 500,000 hectares, making it one of Central Africa’s largest protected areas. Our research began in 1993 with the establishment of the Bouamir research camp and 25-square-kilometer study site located near the center of the reserve. Since that time, research has focused on the role of vertebrate seed dispersers-particularly birds and primates, the impacts of hunting on vertebrate populations and on the genetics of the trees they disperse, conservation genetics, mechanisms of speciation, and disease research, both in the reserve and in adjacent areas.  CTR also used the Dja as a base for groundbreaking work on the long distance movement and resource use of hornbills.  We work closely with indigenous tribes who live in and around the Dja Biosphere Reserve as part of our research.  Community members act as guides, and share their extraordinary wealth of knowledge about the ecology of the forest.

Tracking Hornbill Movements in Cameroon

UCLA’s International Research & Training Center in Cameroon hosts researchers such as Prof. Tom Smith and his team from the Center for Tropical Research. Prof. Smith leads the IRTC and shows here how the research team captures hornbill birds and attaches a satellite tracking device in order to track their movements across the Congo Basin for the first time.

Related Publications

Avian influenza surveillance in Central and West Africa, 2010-2014

Fuller, T. L.; Ducatez, M. F.; Njabo, K. Y.; Couancy-Hymann, E.; Chasar, T.; Aplogan, G. L.; Lao, S.; Awoume, F.; Tehou, A.; Langeois, Q.; Krauss, S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | Epidemiology and Infection 143(10), 2205-2212

Evolution and conservation of Central African biodiversity: priorities for future research and education in the Congo Basin and Gulf of Guinea

Anthony, N. M.; Atteke, C.; Bruford, M. W.; Dallmeier, F.; Freedman, A.; Hardy, O.; Ibrahim, B.; Jeffery, K. J.; Johnson, M.; Lahm, S. A.; Lepengue, N.; Lowenstein, J. H.; Maisels, F.; Mboumba, J.; Mickala, P.; Morgan, K.; Ntie, S.; Smith, T. B.; Sullivan, J. P.; Verheyen, E.; Gonder, M. K.

Published Work | 2014 | Biotropica 47(1), 6–17

Spatial and temporal patterns of frugivorous hornbill movements in Central Africa and their implications for rain forest conservation

Chasar, A.; Harrigan, R. J.; Holbrook, K. M.; Dietsch, T. V.; Fuller, T. L.; Wikelski, M.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | Biotropica 46(6), 763–770

Diet selection is related to breeding status in two frugivorous hornbill species of Central Africa

Lamperti, A. M.; French, A. R.; Dierenfeld, E. S.; Fogiel, M. K.; Whitney, K. D.; Stauffer, D. J.; Stouffer, K. M.; Hardesty, B. D.; Clark, C. J.; Poulsen, J. R.; Wang, B.; Smith, T. B.; Parker, V. T.

Published Work | 2014 | Journal of Tropical Ecology 30(4), 273–290

Seed dispersal and movement patterns in two species of Ceratogymna hornbills in a West African tropical lowland forest

Holbrook, K. M.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | Oecologia 125, 249–257

Predicting bird song from space

Smith, T. B.; Harrigan, R. J.; Kirschel, A. N.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Blumstein, D. T.; de Kort, S. R.; Slabbekoorn, H.

Published Work | 2013 | Evolutionary Applications 6(6), 865–874

Feeding habits of culicine mosquitos in the Cameroon lowland forests based on stable isotopes and blood meal analyses

Njabo, K. Y.; Smith, T. B.; Yohannes, E.

Published Work | 2013 | Journal of Parasitology and Vector Biology 5, 6–12

Nonspecific patterns of vector, host and avian malaria parasite associations in a Central African rainforest

Njabo, K. Y.; Cornel, A. J.; Bonneaud, C.; Toffelmier, E.; Sehgal, R. N.; Valkiunas, G.; Russell, A. F.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Molecular Ecology 20(5), 1049–1061

Human impacts flatten rainforest-savanna gradient and reduce adaptive diversity in a rainforest bird

Freedman, A. H.; Buermann, W.; Mitchard, E. T.; DeFries, R. S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | PLoS ONE 5(9)

Spatially explicit predictions of blood parasites in a widely distributed African rainforest bird

Sehgal, R. N.; Buermann, W.; Harrigan, R. J.; Bonneaud, C.; Loiseau, C.; Chasar, A.; Sepil, I.; Valkiunas, G.; Iezhova, T.; Saatchi, S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Procedings of the Royal Society B 278, 1025–1033

Genomic signals of diversification along ecological gradients in a tropical lizard

Freedman, A. H.; Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Molecular Ecology 19(17), 3773–3788

Prevalence and diversity patterns of avian blood parasites in degraded African rainforest habitats

Chasar, A.; Loiseau, C.; Valkiūnas, G.; Iezhova, T.; Smith, T. B.; Sehgal, R. N.

Published Work | 2009 | Molecular Ecology 18(19), 4121–4133

Coquillettidia (Culicidae, Diptera) mosquitoes as new natural vectors of avian malaria in Africa

Njabo, K. Y.; Cornel, A. J.; Sehgal, R. N.; Loiseau, C.; Buermann, W.; Harrigan, R. J.; Pollinger, J.; Valkiūnas, G.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Malaria Journal 8

Birdsong tuned to the environment: green hylia song varies with elevation, tree cover, and noise

Kirschel, A. N.; Blumstein, D. T.; Cohen, R. E.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.; Slabbekoorn, H.

Published Work | 2009 | Behavioral Ecology 29, 1089–1095

The prevalence of avian Plasmodium is higher in undisturbed tropical forests of Cameroon

Bonneaud, C.; Sepil, I.; Milá, B.; Buermann, W.; Pollinger, J.; Sehgal, R. N.; Valkiūnas, G.; Iezhova, T. A.; Saatchi, S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Journal of Tropical Ecology 25, 439–447

Character displacement of song and morphology in African tinkerbirds

Kirschel, A. N.; Blumstein, D. T.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106, 8256–8261

New malaria parasites of the subgenus Novyella in African rainforest birds, with remarks on their high prevalence, classification and diagnostics

Valkiūnas, G.; Iezhova, T. A.; Loiseau, C.; Chasar, A.; Smith, T. B.; Sehgal, R. N.

Published Work | 2008 | Parasitology Research 104, 1061–1077

Modeling the effects of anthropogenic habitat change on savanna snake invasions into African rainforest

Freedman, A. H.; Buermann, W.; LeBreton, M.; Chirio, L.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2008 | Conservation Biology 23(1), 81-92

New species of haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporidia) from African rainforest birds, with remarks on their classification

Valkiūnas, G.; Iezhova, T. A.; Loiseau, C.; Chasar, A.; Smith, T. B.; Sehgal, R. N.

Published Work | 2008 | Parasitology Research 103, 1213–1228

The importance of conserving evolutionary processes

Smith, T. B.; Grether, G.

Published Work | 2008

Hunting of mammals reduced seed removal and dispersal of the Afrotropical tree, Antrocaryon klaineanum (Anacardiaceae).

Wang, B. C.; Sork, V. L.; Leong, M. T.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2007 | Biotropica 39(3), 340–347

Molecular evidence for host specificity of parasitic nematode microfilariae in some African rainforest birds

Sehgal, R. N.; Jones, H. I.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2005 | Molecular Ecology 14(13), 3977–3988

Comparative seed shadows of bird-, monkey-, and wind-dispersed trees in a central African tropical rain forest

Clark, C. J.; Poulsen, J. R.; Connor, E. F.; Bolker, B.; Parker, V. T.

Published Work | 2005 | Ecology 86(10), 2684–2694

Evaluating the divergence-with-gene-flow model in natural population: the importance of ecotones in rainforest speciation

Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K.; Girman, D.; Bruford, M. W.

Published Work | 2005 | University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Chicago, USA, 148–165

Blood parasites of some West African rainforest birds

Sehgal, R. N.; Jones, H. I.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2005 | Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 67(3), 295–301

Leucocytozoon (Apicomplexa: Leucocytozoide) from West African birds, with descriptions of two species

Jones, H. I.; Sehgal, R. N.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2005 | Journal of Parasitology 91(2), 397–401

Importance of body size in determining dominance hierarchies among diverse tropical frugivores

French, A.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2005 | Biotropic 37(1), 95–100

Fruiting trees as dispersal foci in a semi-deciduous tropical forest

Clark, C. J.; Poulsen, J. R.; Connor, E. F.; Parker, V. T.

Published Work | 2004 | Oecologia 139(1), 66–75

Community seed rain patterns and a comparison to adult community structure in a West African tropical forest

Hardesty, B. D.; Parker, V. T.

Published Work | 2003 | Plant Ecology 164(1), 49–64

Long-distance movements of frugivorous rainforest hornbills

Holbrook, K. M.; Smith, T. B.; Hardesty, B. D.

Published Work | 2002 | Ecography 25(6), 745–749

Closing the seed dispersal loop

Wang, B. C.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2002 | Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17(8), 379–386

A comparative analysis of PCR-based detection methods for avian malaria

Richard, F. A.; Sehgal, R. N.; Jones, H. I.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2002 | Journal of Parasitology 88(4), 819–822

Differential resource use by primates and hornbills: implications for seed dispersal

Poulsen, J. R.; Clark, C. J.; Conner, E. F.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2002 | Ecology 83(1), 228–240

The role of arboreal seed dispersal groups on the seed rain of a lowland tropical forest

Clark, C. J.; Poulsen, J. R.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2001 | Biotropica 33(4), 606–620

Seed dispersal by a primate community in the Dja Reserve, Cameroon

Poulsen, J. R.; Clark, C. J.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2001 | Journal of Tropical Ecology 17(6), 787–808

Host specificity and prevalence of Trypanosoma in the African avifauna: a molecular approach

Sehgal, R. N.; Jones, H. I.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2001 | Molecular Ecology 10(9), 2319–2327

Seasonal variation in the feeding ecology of the grey-cheeked mangabay (Lophecebus albigena) in Cameroon

Poulsen, J. R.; Clark, C. J.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2001 | American Journal of Primatology 54(2), 91–105

A test of alternative models of diversification in tropical rainforest: ecological gradients vs. rainforest refugia

Schneider, C.; Smith, T. B.; Larison, B.; Moritz, C.

Published Work | 1999 | roceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96(24), 13869–13873

Seed rain in a West African tropical forest

Hardesty, B. D.

Thesis | 1999

Seed dispersal by Ceratogymna hornbills in the Dja Reserve of Cameroon

Whitney, K.; Fogiel, M.; Lamperti, A.; Holbrook, K.; Stauffer, D.; Hardesty, B.D.; Parker, V.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 1998 | Journal of Tropical Ecology 14(3), 351–371

Habitat use and resource tracking by African Ceratogymna hornbills: implications for seed dispersal and forest conservation

Whitney, K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 1998 | American Conservation 1(2), 107–117

Dja Hornbill Project/Projet Calao, 1994-1998

Whitney, K.; Stauffer, D.; Holbrook, K.; French, A.; Poulsen, J.; Smith, T. B.; Fogiel, M.; Lamperti, A.; Hardesty, B.; Wang, B.; Clark, C.; Parker, V.T.

Progress Report | 1998

A role for ecotones in generating rainforest biodiversity

Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K.; Girman, D.; Bruford, M. W.

Published Work | 1997 | Science 276(5320), 1855–1857

Bill size polymorphism and interspecific niche utilization in an African finch

Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 1987 | Nature 329, 717-719