Among the best news we receive in the Goualougo Triangle is when a chimpanzee birth is recorded. Part of the reason why these apes are in danger of extinction is that new additions to chimpanzee communities are rare, with births infrequent. Long-term monitoring indicates female chimpanzees produce offspring on average every five or more years.
While the data on Goualougo’s chimpanzee population dynamics doesn’t amount to the extensive database that exists for the famous east African communities, demographic observations in Goualougo are mounting. We now have more than 10 years of observations over a large area. To date we have identified 14 communities and 400+ individual chimpanzees.
Our most recent addition is in the Dede chimpanzee community in the north of the study area. One of our most avid termite fishers is an old adult female chimpanzee whom we only know from recorded observations on our “ChimpCams.” As you can see here, she is carrying a new arrival.
Documenting such rare events, like births, is important, as every individual counts. With a little bit of luck, a lot of support from mom and the conservation presence of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project, this little chimpanzee will have a long life without the increased risks of poaching or logging, which threaten most chimpanzees across Africa at this time.