In Uganda’s Hoima District, 300 chimpanzees (including the Bulindi community) cling to survival in the face of enormous pressure from their human neighbours. Monitoring these chimpanzees is essential for their health and survival.
As well as our long-term monitoring of the Bulindi chimpanzee community, this year we started monitoring two other chimp communities in Hoima and we aim to begin monitoring a fourth community later this year.
As volunteer Field Operations Manager, Georgia says: “Chimpanzee monitoring isn't easy! It requires basic tracking knowledge, a good understanding of chimpanzee behaviour, and a lot of patience. Our chimpanzee monitors are in constant contact with local villagers and often have to act as ambassadors for the chimpanzees as well. At BCCP we believe in strengthening the skills and abilities of field staff through capacity building. Our tiered training program not only provides junior staff with the necessary tools to perform in a complex social and ecological landscape, it also encourages senior monitors to develop strong leadership skills.”
These images show Vincent (who monitors the Wagaisa chimpanzee community) mentoring our newest chimpanzee monitor, Isaac.
DO BULINDI CHIMPS HUNT?
Chimpanzees are notorious hunters of other mammals, especially monkeys. But the Bulindi chimps are unusual: they don't seem to recognize other animals as food. In a short article just-published, the research team describe cases of chimps at Bulindi handling and playing with dead animals (a guineafowl and hyrax), apparently after capturing them alive, but showing no interest in eating them!
NEW PUBLICATION: Gastrointestinal parasite infections and self-medication in wild chimpanzees surviving in degraded forest fragments within an agricultural landscape mosaic in Uganda.
HEALTH MONITORING FOR CONSERVATION
The Bulindi chimpanzees live in such close contact to local villagers and domestic animals, that threats to their health are always a big concern. Consequently, we monitor the chimps' heath closely.
Great to see this new study published on the chimps' intestinal parasites and the self-medicative behaviors they use to help combat these. While the chimps suffer from a variety of parasites, this is quite normal for any population of wild chimpanzees. Despite their 'high risk' environment, the Bulindi chimps seem pretty healthy overall!
The full article can be accessed here:
McLennan, M.R., Hasegawa, H., Bardi, M., Huffman, M.A. (2017).
Gastrointestinal parasite infections and self-medication in wild chimpanzees surviving in degraded forest fragments within an agricultural landscape mosaic in Uganda. PLoS ONE, 12(7), e0180431.