On June 14 and 28, for the first time ever, a group of 18 orphan bonobos will be returned to the wild.
"We'll be monitoring the social behavior and feeding habits of the bonobos as they adjust to life back in the wild," said Duke anthropologist Brian Hare, who will be leading the monitoring with Richard Wrangham of Harvard.
"We are curious to see how they adjust to their new lifestyle because it will give us valuable information about how flexible they are behaviorally since none of them grew up in the wild," Hare said. "Of course we will also be closely monitoring their health so that we can intervene if any bonobos have problems adjusting."
Duke graduate student Catherine Workman will be leading the post-release monitoring this summer in the Congo.
The bonobo release will be conducted by Congolese organization Les Amis des Bonobos du Congo (Friends of Bonobos in Congo, ABC) which runs Lola ya Bonobo, the world's only bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The bonobos will be released in a 20,000 hectare (50,000 acre) forest near Basankusu in the Equateur region of Congo. The local people have agreed to become the guardians of the released bonobos and to prevent hunting of bushmeat in the forest. "The release of bonobos back into the wild will be the pinnacle of all we have accomplished," said Claudine Andre, the president of ABC in Congo. "For the last 15 years, we have worked tirelessly on education and conservation – this is the most important step of all."
Bonobos, like chimpanzees, are our closest living relative. But, despite their endangered status, bonobos are virtually unknown. Unlike chimpanzees, who are male dominated, frequently hunt and sometimes kill other chimps, bonobos are relatively peaceful. They are female-dominated and use sex to resolve social tension.
Ironically, this peaceful ape only lives in one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been torn apart by almost a decade of war that has killed more than five million people, making it the bloodiest war since World War II.
The reintroduction of wild-born orphans rehabilitated and cared for at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary will hopefully replenish the bonobo populations in forest areas of the DRC where they have disappeared.
"We are thrilled to be involved in this project because of its importance for bonobo conservation," Hare said. "We hope this release will give bonobos a brighter future."
"This exciting event reminds us of the importance of every individual bonobo, and is a critical step on the path towards raising awareness of the plight of bonobos and the opportunities to help them," Wrangham said.
Vanessa Woods | EurekAlert!
Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Life Sciences