Leopard food habits in the Lope National Park, Gabon, Central Africa


Henschel P, Abernethy K & White L (2005) Leopard food habits in the Lope National Park, Gabon, Central Africa. African Journal of Ecology, 43 (1), pp. 21-28.

To determine leopard Panthera pardus (Linnaeus) food habits in the Lopé National Park in Gabon, Central Africa, 196 leopard scats were collected and analysed. Prey items were determined using undigested matter isolated from the scats, and a reference collection of hairs and bones from potential prey species. A minimum of 30 different prey species were identified, 27 of which were mammalian. Leopards preyed mainly on ungulates, which made up 59% of the biomass consumed. Diurnal primates (18%) and large rodents (17%) were also heavily preyed upon. The mean prey weight estimated from scats was 29.2 kg. The most important single prey species was found to be red river hog Potamochoerus porcus (Linnaeus), making up 20% of the biomass consumed, followed by forest buffalo Syncerus caffer nanus (Boddaert) and cane rat Thryonomys swinderianus (Temminck), each comprising 13% of biomass consumed.

carnivore; food habits; Gabon; leopard; Panthera pardus

African Journal of Ecology: Volume 43, Issue 1

Publication date31/03/2005