Polyspecific associations from camera trapping data of the lesula monkey (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) in the Lomami National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Polyspecific associations are common among African Cercopithecus monkeys in the forest canopy and may provide benefits by maximizing foraging success and reducing predation risk. The ground dwelling lesula monkey (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) is endemic to the Congo Basin in Central Africa and provides a unique opportunity to study interspecies interactions on the forest floor. The objectives of our study were to investigate the type and frequency of associations between lesula and heterospecifics, and if variation in patterns of association occurs among survey sites. We also assessed lesula’s behavior when in association. Camera trap videos containing lesula with heterospecifics were organized into events. We scored behaviors in an ethogram using continuous focal sampling. We found that lesula occurred in polyspecific associations with multiple sympatric species and were observed most often with the blue duiker (Philantomba monticola). Results indicated that relaxed behaviors were the most common responses of lesula when in polyspecific associations.