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Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Tsuji Y.,Kyoto University | Yangozene K.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | Sakamaki T.,Kyoto University
Journal of Tropical Ecology

Great apes are considered to be important seed dispersers in palaeotropical habitats due to their large body size (this would be reflected in the amount of foods consumed) and large home ranges (Poulsen et al. 2001, Wrangham et al. 1994). Furthermore, the great apes might process seeds in a way that maintains their viability (Lambert 1999). Previous studies of seed dispersal by great apes have generally taken the form of lists of seeds found in their faeces (Voysey et al. 1999a, Wrangham et al. 1994), effects of passage through their guts on seed germination (Idani 1986, Wrangham et al. 1994), and effects of dispersal location on germination/seedling survival (Gross-Camp & Kaplin 2005, Rogers et al. 1998, Voysey et al. 1999b). In contrast with the richness of reports about aspects of seeds after their dispersal, few studies have investigated the dispersal pattern of seeds. In this study, we report on the estimated distances of seed dispersal by the wild bonobo (Pan paniscus Schwartz), a species of great ape. Copyright © 2009 Cambridge University Press. Source

Mulavwa M.N.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | Yangozene K.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | Yamba-Yamba M.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | Motema-Salo B.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology

We examined the location of nest groups, spatial distribution of nests within a nest group, and attributes of individual nests of wild bonobos at Wamba, Democratic Republic of Congo. We also examined the seasonal factors influencing nesting behavior and compared the nest group size with the 1 hr party size during daytime. We defined a nest group to be a cluster of nests that were built in the same evening and found within 30m from the other nearest nest. Examination of the largest gap within a nest group suggested that 30m was an acceptable cutoff value. Monthly rainfall or fruit abundance did not significantly influence the monthly mean nest group size. Nests were built in the swamp forest for as many as 13% observation days, suggesting the need for reevaluation of the use of swamp forest by bonobos. The use of swamp forest was influenced not by seasonal rainfall or fruit abundance, but by the fruiting of specific species. Preferred tree species for building nests accounted for 19.8% of standing trees, which suggested that the selection of sleeping sites was not largely restricted by the distribution of specific species. The mean 1 hr party size was almost identical through the day and was similar to the mean nest group size. Parties of bonobos sometimes split into smaller nest groups, especially when feeding on non-preferred fruits during fruit scarcity. By contrast, when feeding on preferred fruits while ranging in large parties, they often aggregated to form even larger nest groups. When sleeping in small- or middle-sized nest groups, they tended to aggregate the next morning. These tendencies may reflect the gregarious nature of bonobos who prefer to range or sleep together as far as circumstances allow. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Sakamaki T.,Kyoto University | Sakamaki T.,Wamba Committee for Bonobo Research | Maloueki U.,University of Kinshasa | Bakaa B.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | And 5 more authors.

Findings of regional variations in the behavioral patterns of non-human primates have led to the vigorous study of animal traditions (or culture), which contribute to a biological understanding of diversity in human cultures. Although our knowledge of behavioral variations of the bonobo (Pan paniscus) is limited compared with its sister species, the chimpanzee (P. troglodytes), variations in the prey of this species have been reported across study sites. This study describes evidence of mammals consumed by bonobos in the Iyondji site, which was established in 2010. We found evidence that Iyondji bonobos consumed duikers (Cephalophus dorsalis, C. monticola) and diurnal monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius), which is notable because only anomalures (Anomalurus spp.) are consumed by bonobos in Wamba, a long-term study site established in 1973, located in an area adjacent to Iyondji. Moreover, bonobos do not transfer between the two populations due to the river between the sites. According to our census of duikers and diurnal monkeys, Iyondji bonobos appeared to encounter diurnal monkeys more frequently than did Wamba bonobos. Although humans have apparently had a more pronounced impact on the habitats in Wamba than on those in Iyondji, it remains unclear how such environmental conditions may have contributed to the differences in the prey consumed by bonobos in different sites. Our findings suggest that additional research at various sites could reveal the nature of the variations in the behavior of bonobos. © 2016 Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan Source

Kawamoto Y.,Kyoto University | Takemoto H.,Kyoto University | Higuchi S.,Kyoto University | Sakamaki T.,Kyoto University | And 12 more authors.

Bonobos (Pan paniscus) inhabit regions south of the Congo River including all areas between its southerly tributaries. To investigate the genetic diversity and evolutionary relationship among bonobo populations, we sequenced mitochondrial DNA from 376 fecal samples collected in seven study populations located within the eastern and western limits of the species' range. In 136 effective samples from different individuals (range: 7-37 per population), we distinguished 54 haplotypes in six clades (A1, A2, B1, B2, C, D), which included a newly identified clade (D). MtDNA haplotypes were regionally clustered; 83 percent of haplotypes were locality-specific. The distribution of haplotypes across populations and the genetic diversity within populations thus showed highly geographical patterns. Using population distance measures, seven populations were categorized in three clusters: the east, central, and west cohorts. Although further elucidation of historical changes in the geological setting is required, the geographical patterns of genetic diversity seem to be shaped by paleoenvironmental changes during the Pleistocene. The present day riverine barriers appeared to have a weak effect on gene flow among populations, except for the Lomami River, which separates the TL2 population from the others. The central cohort preserves a high genetic diversity, and two unique clades of haplotypes were found in the Wamba/Iyondji populations in the central cohort and in the TL2 population in the eastern cohort respectively. This knowledge may contribute to the planning of bonobo conservation. © 2013 Kawamoto et al. Source

Tokuyama N.,Kyoto University | Emikey B.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | Bafike B.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | Isolumbo B.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | And 3 more authors.

This is the first report to demonstrate that a large mixed-sex party of bonobos travelled a long distance to return to the location of a snare apparently to search for a member that had been caught in it. An adult male was caught in a metallic snare in a swamp forest at Wamba, Luo Scientific Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo. After he escaped from the snare by breaking a sapling to which the snare was attached, other members of his party assisted him by unfastening the snare from lianas in which it was caught and licked his wound and tried to remove the snare from his fingers. In the late afternoon, they left him in the place where he was stuck in the liana and travelled to the dry forest where they usually spend the night. The next morning, they travelled back 1. 8 km to revisit the location of the injured male. When they confirmed that he was no longer there, they returned to the dry forest to forage. This was unlike the usual ranging patterns of the party, suggesting that the bonobos travelled with the specific intention of searching for this injured individual who had been left behind. The incident described in this report likely occurred because bonobos usually range in a large mixed-sex party and try to maintain group cohesion as much as possible. © 2012 Japan Monkey Centre and Springer. Source

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