Showing posts with label Congo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congo. Show all posts

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Unknown Mega-Society of Chimps Found in The Congo

Actually these newly discovered chimps kill leopards, but we thought this was cuter.
The Times of India is reporting a newly discovered mega-society of chimps, a population of perhaps thousands. Locals have been talking about them for yearss, they have even claimed the chimps were known to take down leopards. Read an excerpt below.

An unknown mega-society of chimpanzees has been discovered living in a 50,000sqkm forest in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands walked hundreds of kilometers in the forests across the region for several years and caught their activities on motion activated cameras.

The Eastern chimpanzees, as they are called, inhabit remote Bili-Gangu forest which is infested with poachers and rogue militias. Local people reported that there were great apes in the forest that could kill and eat leopards, but to the outside world, nothing was known.
The article continues to mention the use of game trail cams, "The chimpanzees of Bili-Gangu build nests on the ground, patrol their territory and were caught on cameras killing an occasional leopard."

The scientists covered a total of 1,800km of reconnaissance walks to the north and 500km to the south of the Uele River as well as 160km of line transects in the Bili-Gangu Forest, and discovered a population of chimpanzees numbering in the thousands. Evidence of behavioral continuity shows that the north and south groups may be connected culturally as well.

"Our results suggest that a large and widespread population of chimpanzees inhabits the forests and savannas of northern DRC", says Thurston C. Hicks, a primatologist based at the Max Planck Institute. "This population has remained unnoticed to researchers until now and may represent the largest viable population of this subspecies, but it currently lacks any protection." When they re-walked parts of these transects again in 2012, the researchers found that the number of chimpanzee sleeping nests had not declined since 2005.

You can read the article in it's entirety at  Unknown mega-society of chimps found in Africa
The Daily Mail also has a great article on the same topic Researchers discover 10,000-strong community of Chimpanzees
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