Diécké Forest, Guinea: Delving into Chimpanzee Behavior Using Stone Tool Surveys

Part of the Primatology Monographs book series


The Forest of Diécké, about 50 km west of Bossou, is the second largest protected reserve in the region of Guinée Forestiére. This forest is currently an important refuge for endemic species of fauna and flora. It is one of 12 major sites for biodiversity conservation in West Africa. In 1999, Kyoto University Primate Research Institute (KUPRI) initiated chimpanzee research is this area to gather comparative data to the long-term site of Bossou, as Diécké chimpanzees use stone and wooden tools to crack nuts of Panda oleosa and Coula edulis. Between 2006 and 2008, the first surveys with an etho-archaeological approach focused on regional variations in stone-tool use within different groups of wild chimpanzees to study the emergence of technology. These pilot surveys, carried out with the cooperation of local teams, expanded our understanding of chimpanzee behavior across a larger expanse of the reserve. We set up temporary camps in the core of the forest and established the first research encampment. In 2009, we broadened the research scope, mapping raw material sources, and measuring their availability along 4-km-long transect lines and quadrats. An archaeological excavation revealed strata harboring stone artifacts. In addition, for the first time the chimpanzees of Diecké were photographed and video-recorded. The main results are reported here concerning the state of the art of chimpanzee research mainly during the first research period: recording and monitoring of new nut-cracking sites; indirect records of the presence of the chimpanzees; diversity between Bossou and Diécké nut-cracking technologies; and descriptions of the ecology and the geomorphology of the area, and the conservation management of the forest of Diécké, aimed at understanding the impact of human harvest of resources.


Wild Chimpanzee World Wildlife Fund Blue Duiker Temporary Camp Bossou Chimpanzee 
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I wish to thank the Direction National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique, République de Guinée, and Dr. Kourouma Makan, Director of the Institut de Recherche Environnementale de Bossou, for permission to conduct fieldwork at Diécké. I would also like to thank Dr. Papa Cécé Condé from the Centre Forestier de N’Zérékoré, Dr. Werner Grimmelman (Progerfor) and Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa for their support and collaboration. We are grateful to the British Embassy in Conakry for funding the construction of the first latrines in the village of Korouhan. The research was supported by Grants-in-Aid for scientific research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture of Japan: MEXT-16002001, JSPS-HOPE, JSPS-21COE-Kyoto-Biodiversity, and F-06-61 of the Ministry of Environment, Japan, to Tetsuro Matsuzawa. S.C. was supported by The Municipality of Leiria; Cambridge European Trust (RIB 00107), FCT-Portugal (SFRH/BD/36169/2007), The Wenner-Gren Foundation, Queens College Cambridge, and the Leakey Trust (U.K.). I finally wish to thank B. Zogbila, H. Gbéregbé, J. Doré, P. Goumy, J.M. Kolié, J. Malamu, L. Tokpa, A. Kbokmo, C. Koti, O. Mamy, C. Clement, Justin, C. Kanou, Jean, and the villages of Nonah and Korohouan for the field support and J. Morgadinho for the design work. Last, I am particularly grateful to C. Sousa for guidance during my 2006 research and to P. Kelmendi, S. Koski, T. Humle, and W.C. McGrew for comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, Department of Biological AnthropologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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