HOPE Report No.24, 26th, March 2005.

Program No.24 (Joint research)

Ecological and sociological study of wild bonobos in Wamba, DR Congo

Yasuko Tashiro Research associates Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University

Period of visit: 8 January, 2005 - 8 March, 2005

Places of visit: Kinshasa and Wamba, Democratic Republic of Congo

The research of wild bonobos in Wamba was started 1970's. After the interruption by the civil war, the research was reopened in
2003. Previous study in 2004 revealed that the main study group still inhabits in Wamba. However, the detailed data of inter-individual relationships and their habitat use have not been collected.

I met Dr. Mwanza Ndunda, director of CREF (Centre de Recherche en Ecologie et Foresterie), and discussed about the cooperative research of bonobos in Wamba. We discussed about the method of data collection and data analysis to develop the field research.

I stayed in Wamba from 19th January to 28th March, 2005. I followed the main study group (E1-group) with local research assistants, and recorded ecological and sociological data of wild bonobos. I identified two females and their children, that were not observed in previous study period.

In 1996, we identified all children of E1-group, and understood inter-individual relationships. Young females were supposed to emigrate to other groups. Young males might stay in their natal group (E1), but it was difficult to recognize which individual survive. So, I collected fecal samples of all members of E1-group. I will analyze these samples to compare the mitochondrial DNA sequences between mothers and young males to know their relationships.

I followed E2-group, which is another study group in Wamba, and observed three known individuals. It was confirmed that E2 group changed their home range greatly. Field tracks of P-group were observed. I could not find any signs of other groups of bonobos around the Wamba forest.


Eating Diarium zenkeri

Grooming females