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Posts Tagged "Chimps in Uganda"

Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: Reflections on a Year

Sylvester, the alpha male chimpanzee of the Bulindi community, Uganda. Photo: Maureen McCarthy.

A year has passed, seemingly in the blink of an eye. My field research studying these chimpanzees has drawn to a close. From here, I’ll prepare to begin my genetic analyses at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Leipzig will be home for the next year as I delve into the data [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: The Landmine Snare

Max, a snare injury survivor in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Photo courtesy Ronan Donovan.

This is our last week of data collection. It was supposed to be a laid-back week to collect a few more samples and enjoy a few final days tracking chimpanzees, a fieldwork victory lap of sorts. It didn’t turn out as I’d hoped, though. Instead, things went very, very wrong. On Tuesday, we ventured back [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: A Visit with Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall addresses guests during her visit to Uganda. Photo: Maureen McCarthy.

Dr. Jane Goodall recently paid a brief visit to Uganda. As a primatologist and advocate for animals and the environment, Dr. Goodall travels the world about 300 days a year to educate and inspire people of all ages. Her visit here was one of numerous stops in a tour to various African countries. Jack and [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: Earthquake on Chimp Mountain

One of many chimpanzees across Western Uganda to experience an earthquake last week. Photo: Jack Lester.

It had been a long day in the field and we were all exhausted. I crawled into bed amid a thunderstorm and listened to the loud claps of thunder and the rushing sound of rain falling on the ground outside. I started to doze as the thunder gradually softened and the rain turned to light [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: Hunting for Answers

Black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza). Photo: Jack Lester

We recently embarked on data collection in a new community of chimpanzees. They were new to us, that is, though we had heard a great deal about them. We heard from local friends that this is a large community, consisting of more chimpanzees than other communities nearby. We heard that they come into conflict with [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: Resilience

Foxie cares for a troll doll. Photo courtesy Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, used with permission.

Their chorus of pant hoots gave them away in dramatic fashion. The chimpanzees we’d been looking for were nearby, and we knew exactly where to find them. Though farmland and trees blocked our view, we could hear that the chimpanzees had arrived at a particular fig tree laden with ripe fruits. As ripe fruit specialists, [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: Uganda’s Other Great Apes

Silverback male mountain gorilla. Photo: Jack Lester.

Recently, a dear friend came to visit us here in Uganda, so we decided to take the opportunity to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to one of the world’s only two populations of mountain gorillas (Gorilla berengei berengei). The other population lives in the Virunga Massif, a volcanic range that straddles Uganda, Rwanda, and [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: Meet the Gents

Mzee. Photo: Jack Lester.

Though my study covers a broad geographic area, encompassing the home ranges of numerous chimpanzee communities, we have focused substantial attention on one community in particular. This community serves as a focal point for ecological data collection and, when possible, behavioral observations. After months of tracking these chimpanzees in an effort to collect fecal samples, [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: Conservation Conversation

Riparian forest is cut for timber and agriculture. Image: Maureen McCarthy.

Greetings are very important in Ugandan culture. Where we work, it is customary to greet those you encounter with a standard exchange in Runyoro, the local language here. For example, if we find a farmer working in his garden in the morning, we might initiate the following conversation: “Thank you for your work.” “Thank you [...]

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Expeditions

Chimps in Uganda: Rising Conflict

Humans and chimpanzees sometimes must compete for resources in close proximity. Photo: Maureen McCarthy.

It was a day off from the field, an opportunity for a bit of mental respite and physical relaxation. The quiet peace of the day was halted, however, when I received an alarming text message from my field assistant, Nick. In it, he relayed the news he’d just heard on the local radio station: a [...]

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