The forest buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus) typically inhabits the dense rain forests of western and central Africa. We recorded the 1st data on the behavior and social interactions of forest buffalo in natural forest clearings that represent crucial places in the rain forest for feeding and social interactions among individuals. Data were collected from a buffalo herd during January 2002–January 2004 in the Bai-Hokou study area (Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, Central African Republic). We analyzed typical behaviors (i.e., grazing, resting or ruminating, and moving) of both the herd and individuals (from 16 to 24 buffalos), as well as the most frequent social interactions. Spatial distribution among buffalos in the herd, related to both distance from forest edge and to the season (wet versus dry seasons), showed that the adult male was commonly closer to the females than to juveniles. Individuals were generally further away from each other when in the vicinity of the forest edge. Moreover, at greater distances from the forest edge, the number of buffalos in the herd increased. During the wet season, the herd was generally smaller and individuals were more spread out within the same clearing. The most common behavior of the male, females, and juveniles was resting or ruminating. Behavioral interactions by adults were mainly addressed to juveniles.
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