The Chimpanzees of Yealé, Nimba
The Kyoto University Primate Research Institute (KUPRI) international team of researchers and students has been studying chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Yealé, Côte d’Ivoire, in the Nimba Mountains intermittently since 1993. These efforts were interrupted in 2002 for reasons of political unrest in the country and have only resumed more recently in 2008. Nevertheless, local assistants continued progressive habituation of chimpanzees in the region, rendering this site promising for future research. The Yealé site is located approximately 10 km southeast of Bossou and south of the Seringbara site, a more recently established field site on the Guinean side of the Nimba massif. Compared to the Guinean portion of the massif, the region of Yealé presents a unique topography. In addition, chimpanzees at this site are beginning to reveal a unique behavioral repertoire quite different from that of their neighbors. This chapter aims to compile our current understanding of the behavior and ecology of chimpanzees of Yealé and to highlight how this site may in the future valuably further our understanding of chimpanzees.
KeywordsWorld Heritage Site Chimpanzee Community Fruit Scarcity Temporary Camp Terrestrial Herbaceous Vegetation
I wish to thank Professor N’Guessan Yoa Thomas, Director of Research of the “Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique,” and Cdt. Sombo, Director of National Parks, and Capitaine Cisse, Director of the Nimba Reserve, from the “Ministère de l’Environnement et des Forêts” of Côte d’Ivoire, for granting me permission to work in Yealé in the Nimba Mountains between 1999 and 2001. I am especially grateful to Tetsuro Matsuzawa and Gen Yamakoshi for their initial efforts and their encouragement to pursue work in Yealé. We are all especially grateful to all the Yealé guides – David Droh, Anatole Gogo, Philibert Pahon, Anthony Gopou, and Alexis Wonseu – for their hospitality and their invaluable assistance in the field.
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