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A longitudinal study on feeding behaviour and activity patterns of released chimpanzees in Conkouati-Douli National Park, Republic of Congo

Renaud, Amandine, Jamart, Aliette, Goossens, Benoit and Ross, Caroline 2013. A longitudinal study on feeding behaviour and activity patterns of released chimpanzees in Conkouati-Douli National Park, Republic of Congo. Animals 3 (2) , pp. 532-550. 10.3390/ani3020532

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Abstract

Wild chimpanzee populations are still declining due to logging, disease transmission and hunting. The bushmeat trade frequently leads to an increase in the number of orphaned primates. HELP Congo was the first project to successfully release wild-born orphan chimpanzees into an existing chimpanzee habitat. A collection of post monitoring data over 16 years now offers the unique opportunity to investigate possible behavioural adaptations in these chimpanzees. We investigated the feeding and activity patterns in eight individuals via focal observation techniques from 1997–1999 and 2001–2005. Our results revealed a decline in the number of fruit and insect species in the diet of released chimpanzees over the years, whereas within the same period of time, the number of consumed seed species increased. Furthermore, we found a decline in time spent travelling, but an increase in time spent on social activities, such as grooming, as individuals matured. In conclusion, the observed changes in feeding and activity patterns seem to reflect important long-term behavioural and ecological adaptations in wild-born orphan released chimpanzees, demonstrating that the release of chimpanzees can be successful, even if it takes time for full adaptation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Uncontrolled Keywords: chimpanzees; reintroduction; release; conservation; activity budget; diet; Republic of Congo
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/2076-2615/ (accessed 20/02/2014).
Publisher: MDPI AG
ISSN: 2076-2615
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:14
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/49874

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