Monday, November 28, 2011

New article on food and tool "sharing" in Fongoli chimps

Our new publication is now available online at the journal Primates. Iowa State University Ph.D. student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Anthropology, home department), Stacy Lindshield, and I published an article on 'Plant Food and Tool Transfer in Savanna Chimpanzees'. There is a link to the paper from the news article that Iowa State University put out, below.

We note that the frequency of non-meat transfer appears high at Fongoli relative to the sharing of wild plants and other foods and tools by chimpanzees elsewhere, and we talk about why that may be. (We'll eventually examine meat-sharing as well, in a separate paper). We also point out that we think this is a tendency for West African chimps to fall closer to bonobos in terms of this and other behaviors along a continuum that includes all Pan species and subspecies.

In large part, adult males allowed adult females to take resources from them. Adult male Karamoko, pictured in the photos above (Courtesy National Geographic) was one of the adult males that shared termite-fishing tools with females.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Neighbor Ape Dormitory Project Update, Faleme Chimpanzee Conservation and Other News

Received some good news on Thanksgiving from Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project Manager and Director of Conservation, Dondo Kante (pictured above with wife, Nene, and daughter, Nadege).

The Neighbor Ape/OBRAR project that entails construction of a dormitory so village children can attend school in the regional capitol of Kedougou is moving along, and the mayor of Kedougou DONATED 2 plots of land to match the 2 purchased with the generous gift of Neighbor Ape donors Jewel Slesnick and Harold Marder (see previous posts).

Dondo has been filming stages of construction, and I will post these when I arrive in Senegal in late December.

In chimpanzee news, Iowa State University graduate Anna Olson, who is assisting ISU PhD student Stacy Lindshield with her dissertation research, informed me that the Fongoli chimps have moved back closer to Fongoli village, where they can be heard at night. Can't wait to hear that again!

Finally, ISU PhD student Kelly Boyer just had her own Faleme Chimpanzee Conservation project branded by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Congratulations Kelly! Here is a link to her project:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

School Supplies for Djendji Village School and Announcing Luna!

The crew in Senegal recently presented the village of Djendji a year's supply of school equipment. In this photo, Josh (see below) is pictured with the chief of Djendji and the boxes of school supplies. In the photo above, some of the men at Djendji prepare their drums for the dance after the presentation (top photo).

In chimp news, Lucille's newest infant, a daughter, has been given the name "Luna" by one of the graduate students working at Fongoli this year. Josh Marshack, of Washington University-St. Louis, did the honor. Josh is studying aggression and affiliation in the Fongoli chimpanzees. Luna is the fourth offspring and second daughter (that we know of) of adult female Lucille. Luthor, Lex and Sounkaro are Luna's siblings.

And, finally, the OBRAR project is progressing. The first stage is buying the land in Kedougou and building the dormitories for the children living in and around Thiobo village. Videos will be posted on the progress here in the future.