HOPE Report No.2 2004-06-04

Program No.4 (Joint research)

Attendance at the Conference on "Diseases - the third major threat for wild Great Apes?" 

By Chie Hashimoto

Period: 2nd May - 11th May, 2004

[Chie Hashimoto, Department of Ecology and Social Behavior, Kyoto University, 2nd May to 11th May, 2004]

 I took part in the Conference on "Diseases - the third major threat for wild Great Apes?" in Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPIEVA), Leipzig, Germany, from May 6th to May 9th, 2004
 ( see ).

 On 6th and 7th May, we had presentations of "Successes and pitfall in management of wild animal health", "Disease threats to wild animals", and "Possible solutions to increase great apes health". I reported on the current situation in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda (see Abstracts).

 On 8th May, we had a workshop on the creation of a "Great Ape Health Monitoring Unit" (GAHMU). In the workshop, we were divided into four working group; "Emergency plans in case of great apes morbidity or mortality", "Hygienic measurements for living and working in proximity to wild great apes", "Monitoring health great apes living in the wild", and "development of non invasive methods, involvement of laboratories". In the last section, we came together and discussed about all the four topics. At the end, we agreed the establishment of the GAHMU(Great Apes Health Monitoring Unit).

 After the conference, I talked with Dr. Linda Vigilant and Mr. Jonas Eriksson about the studies on the wild bonobos. I also visited Father Frans Kwik at Arnhem, the Nederlands to talk on the current situation at Wamba area, DR. Congo, where I study wild bonobos.

The risk of decease transmission in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda
Chie Hashimoto, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University

When we follow chimpanzees, we keep the rules to avoid decease transmission from humans to chimpanzee; that is, keeping distance longer than 10m, burying the feces in the ground, etc. As chimpanzees are getting habituated more and more, we need to make more effort to avoid decease transmission from observer to chimpanzees. However, there is another risk of decease transmission from people to chimpanzees. The Kalinzu Forest is adjacent to local villages and local people often come to the forest to collect firewood, medical plants, and materials for handcrafts. Local people often leave banana leaves with which local people wrapped their food and they sometimes leave their feces uncovered on the ground. It is difficult for us to control activities of local people because they are legally permitted to enter the forest to collect firewood. I also present the picture of the chimpanzee that seems to suffer from some decease.


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