Chimpanzees in the Seringbara Region of the Nimba Mountains

  • Kathelijne Koops
Part of the Primatology Monographs book series


Seringbara is a study site in the western area of the Nimba Mountains, located 6 km from Bossou. Chimpanzee research in the Seringbara region has been intermittent since 1999. Permanent research presence was established in 2003, and the chimpanzees are becoming partly habituated. Research focuses on the use of elementary technology (e.g., oil-palm use, ant-dipping, nest building), feeding ecology, and habituation. Ground nesting, a rare behavior in chimpanzees, has been studied in depth. Ecological explanations for ground nesting, such as climatic variation and tree availability, were not supported. However, ground nesting is a male-biased behavior as revealed by DNA analyses of hair samples. Habituation efforts have yielded new observations, such as hand clapping. Moreover, several individuals belonging to one of the Nimba communities have now been identified. Current research investigates ecological factors influencing the use of elementary technology in both nest building and foraging. The function of tree and ground nesting is investigated by considering several hypotheses (thermoregulation, antivector/parasite, antipredator). Furthermore, seasonal and spatial availability of target species for tool-use, availability of appropriate tool materials, and availability and distribution of alternative food sources are addressed.


Home Range Nest Building Tree Nest Elementary Technology Ground Nest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



In Guinea, I thank the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique, the Direction Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, and the Institut de Recherche Environnementale de Bossou for the permission to do this research. Special thanks are due to the Seringbara team – Kassié Doré, Fromo Doré, Fokayé Zogbila, and Paquilé Chérif – for their dedication and hard work in the field. I thank Tetsuro Matsuzawa, William McGrew, and Tatyana Humle for support and advice. Also, I thank Tatyana Humle, William McGrew, and Sonja Koski for critical comments and for logistical support during preparation of this manuscript in 2008 while in the field in Guinea. The research was financially supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (nos. 12002009 and 16002001), the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science core-to-core program HOPE and 21COE (A14) to T. Matsuzawa, a Leakey Foundation Grant to T. Humle (2003–2004), and by grants from Lucie Burgers Foundation for Comparative Behavioural Research (the Netherlands), Schure-Beijerinck-Popping Foundation/KNAW (the Netherlands), Gates Cambridge Trust and St. John’s College, Cambridge (United Kingdom), and International Primatological Society and IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Great Ape Conservation Action Fund to K. Koops.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Anthropology, Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary StudiesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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