Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet Vivienne!

It took only a couple of months, but Farafa was finally somewhat cooperative so that I was able to get a shot of her newest infant. Turns out it's a girl! She can be seen here bouncing around on her mother's belly as Farafa is preoccupied with grooming, etc.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just published online - an article I wrote about Mike's (photo of Mike above courtesy of National Geographic Society) care of infant Aimee when we returned her to the Fongoli chimps after she was taken by poachers. This is a link to the Journal of Ethology

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New infant at Fongoli!

Big news at Fongoli is that female Farafa had a new baby! She is also mother of Fanta, David and Frito (deceased). New baby seems to be doing well - very hardy in his clinging ability - and the rest of the chimp community is very interested in him (we think it's a boy but need to get a better view to be sure!).

In other news, we recently had a paper published in the American Journal of Primatology. First author is Michaela Howells, a 2005 graduate of Iowa State University in Anthroplogy. The paper stems from her Master's research on parasites at Fongoli and includes data on baboons as well as the Fongoli chimps. Here is a link to the journal:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New journal articles about Fongoli

The newest issue of the journal African Primates is online and access is free! Two articles stem from events at Fongoli. One details our work in returning Fongoli infant chimp Aimee to her mother Tia after she was taken by poachers in January 2009. The other notes a rare sighting of a guenon (monkey) not normally found as far north as Fongoli. Here is the link to the journal:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tool-assisted hunting at Fongoli surpasses the century mark

So far this year, we've recorded 40 tool-assisted ("spear") hunts by Fongoli chimps, and the hunting "season" (i.e., the rainy season) has barely started... That brings the grand total of tool-assisted hunts by Fongoli chimps to over 130 recorded bouts since they were first habituated in 2005. Females continue to hunt more than expected, with males hunting less than expected - but with several adult males exhibiting the behavior (and one more than once!) since we first reported tool-assisted hunting in the 2007 Current Biology paper.

Below is a link to a short video showing Fongoli chimpanzee female Nickel's "spear" tool, which is included in the Smithsonian Institution's new Human Origins exhibit.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Farewell to Frito

Sadly, I was able to confirm this week upon my return to Fongoli that the chimpanzee my research team found dead in April was indeed Frito. He died at the age of 10 (or thereabouts), and you can see him in this video I took a month or so before he died. We don't know how he died, but he was found along a chimp trail between two distant water sources. Ultimately, he will be buried near Sakoto ravine where I think he found some of his happiest moments - especially in Sakoto pool. I don't believe I've ever seen a chimpanzee as happy-go-lucky as Frito. Fortunately, he is immortalized in the documentary films, 'Ape Genius' and 'Chimps: Next of Kin'. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fongoli chimps on National Geographic Channel

The documentary about Fongoli chimps aired last night on the National Geographic Channel. It can be seen again today (Saturday, April 3) and also next Friday, April 9. Here is a link on their website that gives you more info and some extras!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tia and Aimee one year later

It's been over one year since Tia's daughter Aimee was taken by poachers, confiscated by my project manager Dondo Kante and returned to her mother by myself, Dondo and Michel Sahdjakho, another research assistant on the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project. Both Tia and Aimee have recovered well. This is a brief video I took of Tia feeding on figs while Aimee just hangs around. It is the middle of the dry season, but they are in one of the small areas of gallery forest, along Tukantaba ravine here...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Fongoli chimp and things

I spoke on Iowa Public Radio's 'The Exchange' today about the Fongoli chimps' behavior around fire, along with some comments on Nickel's tool being showcased in the Smithsonian's upcoming Human Origins. The latter half of the show includes Dr. Benjamin Beck of the Great Ape Trust of Iowa, speaking about his chimpanzee conservation project in Rwanda as well as new developments at The Trust.