Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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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.
Primates | Year: 2016

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


PubMed | Research Center for Ecology and Forestry, NGO African Wildlife Foundation, University of Kinshasa and Kyoto University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Primates; journal of primatology | Year: 2016

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.


Kawamoto Y.,Kyoto University | Takemoto H.,Kyoto University | Higuchi S.,Kyoto University | Sakamaki T.,Kyoto University | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

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.


Yoshida T.,Kyoto University | Takemoto H.,Kyoto University | Sakamaki T.,Kyoto University | Tokuyama N.,Kyoto University | And 18 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2016

Lymphocryptovirus (LCV) is one of the major gena in the herpesvirus family and is widely disseminated among primates. LCVs of human and rhesus macaques are shown to be causative agents of a number of malignant diseases including lymphoma and carcinoma. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are highly endangered and the least studied species of the great apes. Considering the potential pathogenicity of the LCV that might threaten the fate of wild bonobos, population-based epidemiological information in terms of LCV prevalence in different location of Bonobo's habitats will help propose improved conservation strategies for the bonobos. However, such data are not available yet because it is very difficult to collect blood samples in the wild and thus virtually impossible to conduct sero-epidemiological study on the wild ape. In order to overcome this issue, we focused on evaluating anti-LCV IgA in the feces of bonobos, which are available in a non-invasive manner. Preliminary study showed that anti-LCV IgA but not IgG was efficiently and reproducibly detected in the feces of captive chimpanzees. It is noteworthy that the fecal IgA-positive individuals were seropositive for both anti-LCV IgG and IgA and that the IgA antibodies in both sera and feces were also detectable by Western blotting assay. These results indicate that the detection of fecal anti-LCV IgA is likely a reliable and feasible for epidemiological surveillance of LCV prevalence in the great apes. We then applied this method and found that 31% of wild bonobos tested were positive for anti-LCV IgA antibody in the feces. Notably, the positivity rates varied extensively among their sampled populations. In conclusion, our results in this study demonstrate that LCV is highly disseminated among wild bonobos while the prevalence is remarkably diverse in their population-dependent manner. © 2016 Yoshida, Takemoto, Sakamaki, Tokuyama, Hart, Hart, Dupain, Cobden, Mulavwa, Kawamoto, Kaneko, Enomoto, Sato, Kooriyama, Miyabe-Nishiwaki, Suzuki, Saito, Okamoto, Tomonaga, Matsuzawa, Furuichi and Akari.


PubMed | Research Center for Ecology and Forestry, University of Maryland University College and Kyoto University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of primatology | Year: 2015

Understanding the habitat requirements of great apes is essential for effective conservation strategies. We examined annual habitat use of a bonobo group in the Wamba field site within the Luo Scientific Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Using satellite imagery, we categorized the groups ranging area into three forest types: (1) primary and old secondary forest (P/OS), (2) young secondary forest and agriculture (YS/Ag), and (3) swamp forest (Sw). We tracked the group for 1 year (2007-2008) and compared usage of the three forest types for ranging, feeding, and night-sleeping. We also recorded what the bonobos ate and monitored monthly fruit availability in each forest type. The group ranged and fed more often in P/OS and less often in YS/Ag and Sw than expected based on habitat availability. Also, the group slept mostly in P/OS (94% of nights monitored), but also in YS/Ag (1%), and Sw (5%). Fruit availability in P/OS had no significant effect on habitat selection, but the group fed in YS/Ag most often during the two months when fruits in P/OS were least abundant. In June, when fruit of Uapaca spp. (selectively eaten by bonobos) was generally abundant in Sw, the group mostly ranged and slept there. The bonobos fed most often on herbaceous plants in all three forest types. In Sw, the bonobos frequently ate mushrooms. Our results show that semi-open forest with abundant herbaceous plants such as YS/Ag could be an important feeding habitat and may provide fallback food for bonobos when fruits are scarce. Furthermore, Sw can serve seasonally as a main habitat to complement P/OS if adequate food resources and tree nesting opportunities are available. We conclude that bonobos use diverse habitats depending on their needs and we highlight the importance of minor-use habitats for sustaining populations of target species in conservation planning.


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.
Primates | Year: 2012

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.


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 | Year: 2010

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.


Tsuji Y.,Kyoto University | Yangozene K.,Research Center for Ecology and Forestry | Sakamaki T.,Kyoto University
Journal of Tropical Ecology | Year: 2010

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.


PubMed | African Wildlife Foundation Nairobi, Rakuno Gakuen University, Emory University, Research Center for Ecology and Forestry and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in microbiology | Year: 2016

Lymphocryptovirus (LCV) is one of the major gena in the herpesvirus family and is widely disseminated among primates. LCVs of human and rhesus macaques are shown to be causative agents of a number of malignant diseases including lymphoma and carcinoma. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are highly endangered and the least studied species of the great apes. Considering the potential pathogenicity of the LCV that might threaten the fate of wild bonobos, population-based epidemiological information in terms of LCV prevalence in different location of Bonobos habitats will help propose improved conservation strategies for the bonobos. However, such data are not available yet because it is very difficult to collect blood samples in the wild and thus virtually impossible to conduct sero-epidemiological study on the wild ape. In order to overcome this issue, we focused on evaluating anti-LCV IgA in the feces of bonobos, which are available in a non-invasive manner. Preliminary study showed that anti-LCV IgA but not IgG was efficiently and reproducibly detected in the feces of captive chimpanzees. It is noteworthy that the fecal IgA-positive individuals were seropositive for both anti-LCV IgG and IgA and that the IgA antibodies in both sera and feces were also detectable by Western blotting assay. These results indicate that the detection of fecal anti-LCV IgA is likely a reliable and feasible for epidemiological surveillance of LCV prevalence in the great apes. We then applied this method and found that 31% of wild bonobos tested were positive for anti-LCV IgA antibody in the feces. Notably, the positivity rates varied extensively among their sampled populations. In conclusion, our results in this study demonstrate that LCV is highly disseminated among wild bonobos while the prevalence is remarkably diverse in their population-dependent manner.

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