Study the relationship between hierarchy and personality in wild-living bonobos.
期間：2012/11/24 - 2013/2/24
At this high level of intelligence, personality becomes an issue that needs to be addressed in order to understand the behavior of our species. So far, animal personality has been studied mainly in captivity, but since social behavior is very different in captivity than in the wild, it is reasonable to assume that personality is different too. To understand the relationship between personality and social behavior, it is necessary to examine our studied species not only in captivity, but also in the wild. Bonobos are endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are just a few places in the country where they can be studied in the wild, and the oldest among those places is Wamba, a Japanese bonobo research site, which was established 40 years ago. Hence, individuals are well known by researchers and local assistants, which will be very helpful for my study.
With the help of local field assistants I followed bonobos in a daily basis in the forest near to the main camp at the edge of Wamba village.
The bonobo community that I had the chance to observe, the so-called P-group, is a community of 27 individuals including infants.
I collected behavioral observation from juveniles, sub-adults and adults.
This means 20 individuals.
After learning to identify them, I collected focal animal behavioral data, in order to compare the personalities of the examined individuals.
Apart from this I collected fecal samples, since the analysis of certain candidate genes' correlation with personality traits is also a part of my research plans.
I collected 50 samples from the observed 20 individuals.
I recorded aggressive and sexual social interactions ad libitum, whenever I could ascertain the identity of the interacting individuals.
Local field assistants helped me a lot in achieving these purposes.
During a big part of my field trip bonobos were ranging in a swamp forest, and focal animal observation can be difficult to conduct in this habitat.
But with the presence of field assistants I could collect data from the swamp forest too in an effective way.
The data that I collected during this field trip will be present in my PhD research.