|« Mvua, Mvua—Toka! (Rain, Rain, Go Away.)||Primates Wambea Wengine (Other Curious Primates) »|
Friday, May 20, 2011
Tumefika! (We have arrived!)
After four days, four different planes, and three nights in three different accommodations, we have finally arrived at Gombe.
One of the parts I love most about my job as director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes is overseeing our field projects. We started the Gombe Ecosystem Health Project in 2004 to assess, understand and attempt to mitigate the risks of infectious disease in wild chimpanzees. I’m here for my annual trip to meet with staff and collaborators, bring supplies, gather the past year’s data and assess the current health of the chimpanzees.
It’s always wonderful to return to Gombe and see the staff and chimpanzees that I’ve known for 13 years now. Accompanying me on this trip is my colleague Dr. Kristin Bonnie of Beloit College, who collaborates with us in our studies of ape social learning at the zoo. Kristin has studied chimpanzees for the past 10 years but has never seen them in the wild!
We’ve just gotten ourselves settled this evening in our fourth and final accommodation of the trip and look forward to getting out into the forest to see chimpanzees tomorrow.
Gombe Field Diaries
Lincoln Park Zoo is partnering with the Jane Goodall Institute to study and conserve chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, the site of Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking research. Our Gombe field diaries feature updates as scientists monitor chimpanzee health, study ape behavior and experience life in Gombe.
As director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lonsdorf leads Lincoln Park Zoo efforts in Gombe National Park.
Rachel Santymire, Ph.D.
An endocrinologist in the Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, Santymire studies stress and reproduction in Gombe's chipmanzees.
A graduate student in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, Matt is studying how levels of play in Gombe¹s chimpanzees influence stress, development and reproductive success.
Your support helps conserve endangered species around the globe. Give today to make a difference.