Current Situation of Studies of Bonobos (Pan paniscus) at Wamba, D.R. Congo

Takeshi FURUICHI, Chie HASHIMOTO, Gen'ichi IDANI, Hiroshi IHOBE, Yasuko TASHIRO and Takayoshi KANO


Studies of bonobos at Wamba started in 1973 when Takayoshi Kano found the village as a promising field site during his extensive survey in Congo Basin. One of the study groups was artificially provisioned with sugarcane in 1976. Luo Scientific Reserve was established in 1987 under the cooperation between CRSN and Kyoto University for the conservation of bonobos and other primates. Demographic data has been accumulated from two study groups for 20 years. Compared to chimpanzees, these populations showed lower infant mortality and shorter interbirth intervals. Luo Reserve, covering 481 km2 and containing 200 bonobos, consists of two areas that are divided by the Luo River. The north area contains home ranges of the study groups, and larger human populations inhabit it. The population density of bonobos is higher in the north area, owing probably to the mixture of various vegetation types, including dry primary forest, secondary forest, and swamp forest. Intensive studies on behaviors and social structures can be carried out both at provisioning sites and in the natural forest. The south area is much greater and less disturbed by humans. It is a suitable site for ecological surveys in a larger scale.

Primate Research, 15: 115-127 (1999)

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