Claude Mande is involved in various components of mammal studies at the University of Kisangani. He has conducted research on bats and occasionally primates across five lowland and highland forest areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Lomami National Park, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Rubi-Tele Hunting Reserve, Yangambi Biosphere Reserve and Albertine Rift). He tests hypotheses on the dilution and amplification effects of emerging infections that have a natural reservoir in wild mammals. Claude highlights the importance of integrating human, animal and ecosystem health considerations to explain the links between biodiversity loss and ecological conditions that facilitate infections spillover to humans.
The Yangambi landscape, including the Yangambi Biosphere Reserve, is a good example of the impact of how human activities (agriculture and hunting) are impacting biodiversity. The Yangambi landscape covers a variety of vegetation that encompasses both continuous old-growth evergreen forest and human-modified area (mosaic of agriculture and agroforestry systems). The Yangambi Biosphere Reserve is the only protected area located within the range of some of the endemic species present in the Yangambi landscape. This is the case for the threatened population of Kisangani Red Colobus, also known as Lang’s Red Colobus (Piliocolobus langi). With no confirmed presence in the field for eight years, this species is thought to be severely depleted and, in some cases, probably extirpated.