Leipzig, Germany
Leipzig, Germany

Time filter

Source Type

Boesch C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Boesch C.,Wild Chimpanzee Foundation | Kalan A.K.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Agbor A.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2017

Wild chimpanzees regularly use tools, made from sticks, leaves, or stone, to find flexible solutions to the ecological challenges of their environment. Nevertheless, some studies suggest strong limitations in the tool-using capabilities of chimpanzees. In this context, we present the discovery of a newly observed tool-use behavior in a population of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) living in the Bakoun Classified Forest, Guinea, where a temporary research site was established for 15 months. Bakoun chimpanzees of every age-sex class were observed to fish for freshwater green algae, Spirogrya sp., from rivers, streams, and ponds using long sticks and twigs, ranging from 9 cm up to 4.31 m in length. Using remote camera trap footage from 11 different algae fishing sites within an 85-km2 study area, we found that algae fishing occurred frequently during the dry season and was non-existent during the rainy season. Chimpanzees were observed algae fishing for as little as 1 min to just over an hour, with an average duration of 9.09 min. We estimate that 364 g of Spirogyra algae could be retrieved in this time, based on human trials in the field. Only one other chimpanzee population living in Bossou, Guinea, has been described to customarily scoop algae from the surface of the water using primarily herbaceous tools. Here, we describe the new behavior found at Bakoun and compare it to the algae scooping observed in Bossou chimpanzees and the occasional variant reported in Odzala, Republic of the Congo. As these algae are reported to be high in protein, carbohydrates, and minerals, we hypothesize that chimpanzees are obtaining a nutritional benefit from this seasonally available resource. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Kalan A.K.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Piel A.K.,Liverpool John Moores University | Mundry R.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Wittig R.M.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 5 more authors.
Frontiers in Zoology | Year: 2016

Background: Assessing the range and territories of wild mammals traditionally requires years of data collection and often involves directly following individuals or using tracking devices. Indirect and non-invasive methods of monitoring wildlife have therefore emerged as attractive alternatives due to their ability to collect data at large spatiotemporal scales using standardized remote sensing technologies. Here, we investigate the use of two novel passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) systems used to capture long-distance sounds produced by the same species, wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), living in two different habitats: forest (Taï, Côte d'Ivoire) and savanna-woodland (Issa valley, Tanzania). Results: Using data collected independently at two field sites, we show that detections of chimpanzee sounds on autonomous recording devices were predicted by direct and indirect indices of chimpanzee presence. At Taï, the number of chimpanzee buttress drums detected on recording devices was positively influenced by the number of hours chimpanzees were seen ranging within a 1 km radius of a device. We observed a similar but weaker relationship within a 500 m radius. At Issa, the number of indirect chimpanzee observations positively predicted detections of chimpanzee loud calls on a recording device within a 500 m but not a 1 km radius. Moreover, using just seven months of PAM data, we could locate two known chimpanzee communities in Taï and observed monthly spatial variation in the center of activity for each group. Conclusions: Our work shows PAM is a promising new tool for gathering information about the ranging behavior and habitat use of chimpanzees and can be easily adopted for other large territorial mammals, provided they produce long-distance acoustic signals that can be captured by autonomous recording devices (e.g., lions and wolves). With this study we hope to promote more interdisciplinary research in PAM to help overcome its challenges, particularly in data processing, to improve its wider application. © 2016 The Author(s).


Tranquilli S.,University College London | Tranquilli S.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Abedi-Lartey M.,Fauna Flora International | Amsini F.,Wildlife Conservation Society | And 43 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2012

A network of resource management areas (RMAs) exists across tropical Africa to protect natural resources. However, many are poorly managed and weakly protected. We evaluated how the lack of conservation effort influences the extinction risk of African great apes. We compiled information on presence/ absence of primary (law enforcement guards) and secondary (tourism, research) conservation activities and nongovernmental conservation organizations (NGOs) support for 109 RMAs over the last 20 years. Along with these data, we collected environmental and anthropogenic variables, including recent records of ape presence/absence for all RMAs. As expected, law enforcement as a primary activity was the best predictor of ape survival rather than tourism or research as secondary activities. Furthermore, long-term NGO support had a significant positive influence on ape persistence. Our study demonstrates the feasibility of evaluating the relative importance of different conservation activities, an important step towards more evidence-based approaches in ape conservation. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Junker J.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Blake S.,Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (Radolfzell) | Boesch C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Boesch C.,Wild Chimpanzee Foundation | And 49 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2012

Aim: To predict the distribution of suitable environmental conditions (SEC) for eight African great ape taxa for a first time period, the 1990s and then project it to a second time period, the 2000s; to assess the relative importance of factors influencing SEC distribution and to estimate rates of SEC loss, isolation and fragmentation over the last two decades. Location: Twenty-two African great ape range countries. Methods: We extracted 15,051 presence localities collected between 1995 and 2010 from 68 different areas surveyed across the African ape range. We combined a maximum entropy algorithm and logistic regression to relate ape presence information to environmental and human impact variables from the 1990s with a resolution of 5 × 5 km across the entire ape range. We then made SEC projections for the 2000s using updated human impact variables. Results: Total SEC area was approximately 2,015,480 and 1,807,653 km 2 in the 1990s and 2000s, respectively. Loss of predicted SEC appeared highest for Cross River gorillas (-59%), followed by eastern gorillas (-52%), western gorillas (-32%), bonobos (-29%), central chimpanzees (-17%) and western chimpanzees (-11%). SEC for Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and eastern chimpanzees was not greatly reduced. Except for Cross River and eastern gorillas, the number of SEC patches did not change significantly, suggesting that SEC loss was caused mainly by patch size reduction. Main conclusions: The first continent-wide perspective of African ape SEC distribution shows dramatic declines in recent years. The model has clear limitations for use at small geographic scales, given the quality of available data and the coarse resolution of predictions. However, at the large scale it has potential for informing international policymaking, mitigation of resource extraction and infrastructure development, as well as for spatial prioritization of conservation effort and evaluating conservation effectiveness. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Tweh C.G.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Lormie M.M.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Kouakou C.Y.,Wild Chimpanzee Foundation | Kouakou C.Y.,Nangui Abrogoua University | And 4 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2014

Liberia has the largest blocks of continuous forest in West Africa, providing habitat for numerous wildlife species. However, there is a lack of empirical data about the status of Liberia's wildlife populations. During 2010-2012 we conducted the first nationwide survey in Liberia along c. 320 km of systematically located transect lines to estimate the abundance of chimpanzees Pan troglodytes verus, the diversity of large mammals and the nature and degree of anthropogenic threats. With > 7,000 chimpanzees, Liberia is home to the second largest population of West African chimpanzees and is therefore a priority for conservation of the species. Compared to the fragmented populations in other range countries the Liberian population is potentially one of the most viable. Our study revealed that the majority of chimpanzees and some of the most species-diverse mammal communities in Liberia exist outside protected areas. High hunting rates and plans for large-scale exploitation of natural resources necessitate rapid implementation of effective strategies to ensure the protection of one of West Africa's last strongholds for chimpanzees and other rare and threatened mammal species. We provide a country-wide baseline dataset that may serve as a platform for Liberian wildlife authorities, policy-makers and international conservation agencies to make informed decisions about the location and delineation of proposed protected areas, to identify conservation gaps and to devise a conservation action plan to conserve Liberia's wildlife resources. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2014.


Tweh C.G.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Lormie M.M.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Lormie M.M.,University of Leipzig | Kouakou C.Y.,Wild Chimpanzee Foundation | And 4 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2015

Liberia has the largest blocks of continuous forest in West Africa, providing habitat for numerous wildlife species. However, there is a lack of empirical data about the status of Liberia's wildlife populations. During 2010-2012 we conducted the first nationwide survey in Liberia along c. 320 km of systematically located transect lines to estimate the abundance of chimpanzees Pan troglodytes verus, the diversity of large mammals and the nature and degree of anthropogenic threats. With >Â 7,000 chimpanzees, Liberia is home to the second largest population of West African chimpanzees and is therefore a priority for conservation of the species. Compared to the fragmented populations in other range countries the Liberian population is potentially one of the most viable. Our study revealed that the majority of chimpanzees and some of the most species-diverse mammal communities in Liberia exist outside protected areas. High hunting rates and plans for large-scale exploitation of natural resources necessitate rapid implementation of effective strategies to ensure the protection of one of West Africa's last strongholds for chimpanzees and other rare and threatened mammal species. We provide a country-wide baseline dataset that may serve as a platform for Liberian wildlife authorities, policy-makers and international conservation agencies to make informed decisions about the location and delineation of proposed protected areas, to identify conservation gaps and to devise a conservation action plan to conserve Liberia's wildlife resources. © 2014 Fauna and Flora International.


Junker J.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Boesch C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Boesch C.,Wild Chimpanzee Foundation | Mundry R.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 5 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

We are in the midst of an unprecedented environmental crisis. Landscapes have become complex social-ecological systems in which anthropogenic activities and biophysical factors interact across multiple scales. The integration of socio-economic development processes into conservation strategies as a means of sustainable resource management requires a deep understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural processes. Attempts to combine socio-economic and biological datasets for analyses, however, have frequently been hampered by spatial, temporal and methodological incompatibilities. In this study, we investigate the effects of human well-being on their environment in Liberia, West Africa. More specifically, we tested whether regions with improved community and household wealth, better education and access to market towns and fish protein, had higher levels of large mammal species richness and densities of the flagship species of West African forests, the chimpanzee (. Pan troglodytes verus). Controlling for human pressure, forest cover and cultural diversity, we found that high literacy rates and affordable fish protein correlated with high chimpanzee density. On the other hand, areas with better economic and infrastructure development coincided with reduced large mammal species richness compared to less developed areas. This indicates that wildlife depletion rates can only be understood by including economic and social constraints. These results are important for informing effective future conservation management strategies in Liberia and elsewhere in tropical Africa. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Junker J.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Boesch C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Boesch C.,Wild Chimpanzee Foundation | Freeman T.,Forestry Development Authority | And 4 more authors.
Basic and Applied Ecology | Year: 2015

Half of what remains of the 'Guinean Forests of West Africa hotspot' is located in Liberia. However, only about 2% of the country is officially protected. We systematically identified and evaluated priority areas for the protection of large mammals and biodiversity in Liberia under different conservation scenarios. We also assessed current proposed protected areas (PPAs) in terms of achieving pre-determined conservation targets, and determined potential wildlife and biodiversity loss within logging and mining concessions. We systematically collected nationwide data on chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) abundance, large mammal and tree taxonomic diversity, and human threats. We related these to environmental and human impact variables to develop nationwide spatial prediction models that also served as base-layers for spatial prioritization using MARXAN. We improved upon standard software output to evaluate spatial properties of selected sites, determine site-specific target contributions, and estimate potential wildlife and biodiversity loss within logging and mining concessions. The optimal conservation area network contained a candidate list of 92 areas that maximized biodiversity and chimpanzee abundance, minimized threats, and accomplished the preservation of 30% of Liberia's forests. It included more than half of West Africa's second largest chimpanzee population, which spatially coincided with that of some of the most diverse large mammal and tree communities. Logging and mining concessions largely overlapped with existing PPAs and conservation priority areas established in this study, and considerably increased their fragmentation. Existing PPAs, however, only partially covered our areas of prioritization and proved insufficient in meeting conservation targets. We emphasize the need for finding a balance between development and biodiversity conservation, such as through aggregate biodiversity offsets, the use of which is currently being discussed by local government, international investors, and conservation NGOs. Die Hälfte des 'Guinean Forests of West Africa hotspot' liegt in Liberia, jedoch sind nur ungefähr 2% des Landes offiziell geschützt. Wir haben systematisch Gegenden von hoher Priorität bezüglich des Schutzes großer Säugetiere und Biodiversität unter Verwendung verschiedener Naturschutzszenarien in Liberia identifiziert und evaluiert. Zusätzlich haben wir aktuell vorgeschlagene bzw. zukünftige Naturschutzgebiete (PPAs) dahingehend bewertet, ob vorbestimmte Naturschutzziele erreicht werden können. Außerdem haben wir potentielle Wild- und Biodiversitätsverluste bestimmt, die durch die zukünftige Abholzung und den Abbau von Rohmineralien zu erwarten sind. Hierzu erhoben wir systematisch und landesweit Daten über das Vorkommen von Schimpansen (Pan troglodytes verus) und der taxonomischen Diversität großer Säuger und Bäumen sowie der Bedrohung, die von den Menschen ausgeht. Diese Daten setzten wir dann in Relation mit ökologischen und menschlichen Einflüssen, um landesweite räumliche Abundanz- und Verbreitungsmodelle zu entwickeln, welche gleichzeitig als Grundlage für die Priorisierung mit dem Softwareprogramm MARXAN dienten. Die Leistung dieser Software haben wir erheblich verbessert indem wir die Datenausgabe von MARXAN zusätzlich nachbearbeitet haben um so räumliche Eigenschaften von ausgewählten Gegenden besser auszuwerten, ortsspezifische Beiträge zu den vorbestimmten Naturschutzzielen besser bestimmen zu können und die potentiellen Auswirkungen der Konzessionen für Holz- und Rohstoffabbau (Konzessionen) zu bewerten. Die potenziellen Schutzgebiete, welche unter der Prämisse optimaler Landnutzung bestimmt wurden, beinhalteten 92 Gegenden. Diese waren hauptsächlich im stark bewaldeten Nordwesten und dem Südosten lokalisiert unter Berücksichtigung maximaler Biodiversität und Schimpansendichte, bei gleichzeitig minimaler menschlicher Bedrohung und Bezug nehmend auf das Regierungsziel 30% des restlichen Waldes schützen zu wollen. Diese Gebiete beinhalteten mehr als 50% der gesamten liberianischen Schimpansenpopulation. Die Verbreitung dieser Schimpansen korrelierte signifikant mit einigen der artenreichsten Populationen großer Säugetiere und Baumarten. Erteilte Konzessionen erhöhten deutlich die Zersplitterung von Naturschutzgebieten. PPAs überlappten teilweise mit Gebieten hoher Priorität, aber es zeigte sich, dass diese nicht ausreichen um die vorbestimmten Naturschutzziele zu erreichen. Ein Großteil der Konzessionen überlappte mit existierenden PPAs und Gebieten hoher Priorität und zwar so weit, dass momentane Pläne zur Rohstoffentwicklung in Liberia zukünftige Naturschutzbemühungen untergraben und das langfristige Überleben einer der letzten großen Schimpansenpopulationen in Westafrika und der einheimischen Biodiversität gefährden könnte. Wir betonen die Notwendigkeit ein Gleichgewicht zwischen Entwicklung und Naturschutz zu schaffen, wie zum Beispiel durch 'aggregate biodiversity offsets', dessen Nutzung gerade von der Regierung, internationalen Investoren und Nichtregierungsorganisationen, die im Naturschutz tätig sind, diskutiert wird. © 2015 Gesellschaft für Ökologie.


Campbell G.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Kuehl H.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Diarrassouba A.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Goran P.K.N'.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 4 more authors.
Biology Letters | Year: 2011

The presence of researchers, ecotourists or rangers inside protected areas is generally assumed to provide a protective effect for wildlife populations, mainly by reducing poaching pressure. However, this assumption has rarely been empirically tested. Here, we evaluate and quantify the conservation benefits of the presence of a longterm research area in Taï National Park, Cote d'Ivoire. A wildlife survey following 225 km of line transects revealed considerably higher primate and duiker encounter rates within the research area when compared with adjacent areas. This positive effect was particularly pronounced for threatened and over-harvested species, such as the endangered red colobus monkey (Procolobus badius). This pattern was clearly mirrored by a reversed gradient in signs of poaching, which decreased towards and inside the research area, a trend that was also supported with park-wide data. This study demonstrates that even relatively simple evidence-based analytical approaches can bridge the gap between conservation theory and practice. In addition, it emphasizes the value of establishing long-termresearch sites as an integral part of protected area management. © 2011 The Royal Society.


PubMed | Wild Chimpanzee Foundation and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Type: | Journal: American journal of primatology | Year: 2016

Wild chimpanzees regularly use tools, made from sticks, leaves, or stone, to find flexible solutions to the ecological challenges of their environment. Nevertheless, some studies suggest strong limitations in the tool-using capabilities of chimpanzees. In this context, we present the discovery of a newly observed tool-use behavior in a population of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) living in the Bakoun Classified Forest, Guinea, where a temporary research site was established for 15 months. Bakoun chimpanzees of every age-sex class were observed to fish for freshwater green algae, Spirogrya sp., from rivers, streams, and ponds using long sticks and twigs, ranging from 9cm up to 4.31m in length. Using remote camera trap footage from 11 different algae fishing sites within an 85-km

Loading Wild Chimpanzee Foundation collaborators
Loading Wild Chimpanzee Foundation collaborators