Primate Research Institute>Section of Ecology and Conservation top>Section of Ecology and Conservation project


Last update: 24th May, 2018


1. Relationships between primates and forest or other organisms (Yumoto, Hanya, Lee)

We conduct basic studies for the conservation of primates, from the view points of forest structure and fruit production under the progress of fragmentation and deterioration of tropical and subtropical forests.

Yumoto studies how great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas) use their environments of African tropical forest, which is constituted by diverse forest vegetation types.

Hanya and Lee study the relationships between primate diet and their gut microbe for various species, including wild Japanese macaques in Yakushima and other regions, orangutans in Borneo, black and white colobus in Uganda, and primates in Gabon, China and Thailand.


Left: plant survey in Wamba forest, where bonobos live, right: observing animals in a Ficus superba tree

2. Behavioural ecology and population ecology in Japanese macaques (Hanya, Kurihara, Honda, He)

We conduct filed studies of wild Japanese macaques, such as population ecology, feeding ecology and behavioral ecology in their natural environment, with special reference to the effect of their habitat.

In Yakushima, Hanya conducts long-term studies on the population changes of Japanese macaques with many colleagues. The main purpose is to clarify the effect of logging and supra-annual changes in fruit production on population density and birth rate. Every summer, we conduct census with more than 40 volunteers, who joined from all over Japan. This research group is Yakuzaru-Chosa-tai (Yakushima Macaque Research Group)

Honda studies seasonality in diets habitat use of Japanese macaques living in summit area of Yakushima.

Several members work on Japanese macaques in lowland Yakushima: Kurihara studies feeding ecology and inter-group relationships; and He studies food toughness and mastication.


Left: Yakushima macaque research group, middle: camp in Yakushima, right: research station in Koshima

3. Socioecological studies of primates in Southeast Asian tropical rain forests (Hanya)

Hanya studies the ecogical mechanism of multiple primate species coexistence and feeding ecology of red leaf monkeys in Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We are particularly interested in the effects of mast fruting, which is a unique character of the Southeast Asian tropics.


Left: Hanya with Malaysian research assistants, middle: A Bornean orangutan, right: red leaf monkeys

4. Primate ecology in African tropical forest (Hashimoto, Mouri, Tokushige, Toge)

We study primate behavioural ecology in African tropical forest, where human ancestors evolved and now harbors various primates including four great ape species.

Hashimoto studies society, ecology, and genetics of chimapanzees and bonobos at Kalinzu forest in Uganda and Wamba in the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively.


Left: bonobos in Wamba, right: chimpanzees in Kalinzu

In Kalinzu, we also study feeding behaviours of sympatric guenon species (red-tail monkey, blue monkey, and L'Hoest monkey). Tokushige studies their parasitic nematodes by analysing their faeces. Toge compares their diets from behavioural observation and faecal DNA analysis.


Left: a red-tail monkey, middle: a blue monkey, left: a L'Hoest monkey

5. Feeding ecology in New World monkeys (Take, Yumoto)

We study feeding ecology in New World monkeys in Amazon.

Take and Yumoto conduct ecological research of Amazonian primates as members of the international project "Biodiversity Conservation in Amazon based on a new concept of Field Museum" with the partenership between Kyoto University and National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA). We study three sympatric New World monkeys (pied tamarins, common squirrel monkeys, and golden-faced sakis) living in a fragmented forest in Manaus, Brazil, in order to know their adaptiveness to the human-induced environments and establish conservation policies.


Left: a pied tamarin, middle: a common squirrel monkey, right: a male golden-faced saki

6. Evolution of hygiene behaviour and disgust (Sarabian)

Sarabian investigates primate behaviour and parasite infection, with emphasis on parasite/pathogen avoidance strategies in Papionini and Hominini and the evolutionary origins of hygiene and disgust.

So far, Sarabian conducted research on food-processing and faeces avoidance behaviours in relation to parasite infection in Japanese macaques of Koshima island, Japan; sensory cues eliciting revulsion and parasite infection-risk avoidance in long-tailed macaques, mandrills and chimpanzees at the Centre International de Recherches Medicales de Franceville (CIRMF), Gabon; and contamination-sensitivity in bonobos at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The work integrates field-experiments, behavioural observations, parasite identification and quantification, outreach and loads of replica faeces.


Left: field experiment on Japanese macaques in Koshima island, middle: presentation at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary, right: experiment on mandrills at CIRMF


Please direct questions or comments regarding this site to G. Hanya hanya<atmark>
The materials contained in the PRI Website may not be distributed, modified, reproduced without permission of PRI