The village of Bossou is a sub-prefecture in the prefecture of Lola, located in the forest region of southeastern Guinea, West Africa, about 1,050 km from the capital city, Conakry. Bossou provides a rare example of a site where historically wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) and the local people have been living harmoniously, sharing the resources of the same forest. Bossou is surrounded by small hills 70–150 m high that are covered in primary and secondary forest. This habitat constitutes the core area of the Bossou community. At the foot of those hills, cultivated or abandoned fields and secondary, riverine, and scrub forests form a patchy mosaic for about 6 km in all directions. The Bossou chimpanzees mostly confine their daily activity within this core area of about 6 km2, although they sometimes travel to adjacent forests using the few remaining gallery forest corridors, thus extending their home range to about 15–20 km2. The nearest currently known chimpanzee populations have their ranges in the Nimba Mountains, about 6 km west of Bossou. The feeding behavior of chimpanzees is extremely diversified. It also varies seasonally and is greatly influenced by fruit availability and habitat type. Several fallback foods are important for the Bossou chimpanzees. These resources include plant species that show little interannual variation, either in the amount of resources they produce or in their seasonal timing of availability.


Secondary Forest Fruit Availability Wild Chimpanzee Scrub Forest Fallback Food 
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I would like to thank the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique, in particular the Direction Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (DNRST) and the Institut de Recherche Environnementale de Bossou (IREB), for granting us over the years the permission to carry out research at Bossou and in the Nimba Mountains. I am particularly grateful to Yukimaru Sugiyama and Tetsuro Matsuzawa, the founders of the research on chimpanzees at Bossou and Nimba, for their continual support and advice, and Jeremy Koman, Paquillé Chérif, Gen Yamakoshi, Hiroyuki Takemoto, and Kim Hockings, for their essential contributions to our understanding of the ecology of Bossou chimpanzees. Finally, I am forever grateful to the local villagers and all our local assistants at Bossou and Nimba for all their hard work and their invaluable contributions and collaboration.


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© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Anthropology and ConservationUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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