Goualougo Triangle Field Diaries

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April 16, 2014
Tuning in to Goualougo

It’s 10:57 p.m. I’m lying in a small but comfortable tent at our base camp in the Goualougo Triangle deep in the pristine forests of northern Congo.

Older Stories

October 15, 2012
Life in the Field

St. Louis Public Radio talks with Goualougo Triangle Ape Project directors David Morgan, Ph.D., and Crickette Sanz, Ph.D., about what it's like to study wild chimpanzees and gorillas in one of the most remote regions on Earth.

August 28, 2012
Recognizing a World Class Forest Landscape in the Heart of Africa

An aerial photo of Nouabale Ndoki National Park and one of its signature forest clearings called Mbeli Bai. Included in the World Heritage Site designation, this clearing is known for its importance to gorillas, elephants, sitatunga antelope and birds.
February 17, 2012
A Conservation Success Story
Lincoln Park Zoo Research Fellow Dave Morgan poses with wife and research partner Crickette Sanz in the Republic of Congo's Goualougo Triangle. This pristine home for chimpanzees and gorillas was recently protected as part of the national park system.
 
February 16, 2012
Protecting a Refuge for Great Apes

By adding the Goualougo Triangle to the national park system, the Republic of Congo has ensured this pristine landscape will remain untouched. As a result, zoo researchers will continue to make groundbreaking discoveries about wild chimpanzees and gorillas for decades to come.

October 13, 2011
Learning from the Zoo in the Last Place on Earth

New approaches for collecting behavioral data are rapidly changing not only the way researchers record observations but also the scope of the questions they ask. At the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, gone are the days of painstakingly entering data into a computer. Lincoln Park Zoo behavioral-monitoring researchers regularly collect detailed, systematic data on resident apes that can be analyzed once the information is simply uploaded from the handheld.

July 28, 2011
Observing Apes

Elo, a subadult female chimpanzee living in the Goualougo Triangle, hammers the blunt end of a large tree branch against a tree trunk to break open a beehive and acquire honey. This chimpanzee is particularly significant to me because she is named after the director of the Lester E.

June 28, 2011
Research and Discovery in the Goualougo Triangle

The Congo Basin is considered among the last strongholds for protecting tropical forest biodiversity. Located in the heart of this region, the Goualougo Triangle of the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park is one of the most important forest-rich regions, with enormous potential for conserving animal and plant diversity.

The goal of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project (GTAP) is to ensure the long-term survival of both chimpanzees and gorillas. Success depends on understanding which plant resources are most important to these endangered apes.

May 26, 2011
Arriving in Africa

Hello from Republic of Congo! Last Friday, I arrived at Maya Maya airport in the country’s capital city of Brazzaville with Crickette Sanz, Ph.D., David Morgan, Ph.D., and fellow graduate student Ashley van Batavia (Washington University in St. Louis).

July 8, 2010
Goualougo Triangle Chimpanzee Population Increases by One!

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.

May 14, 2010
Leading the Way in Goualougo

One of the most rewarding aspects of our conservation and research efforts in the Goualougo Triangle is the opportunity to work side by side with some of the most talented and courageous animal trackers in all Central Africa. Crickette and I have often remarked that members of the Goualougo tracking team could have long ago earned Ph.D.’s based on their deep understanding of the forests and wildlife. Their tireless work ethic and genuine interest in assisting in our research endeavors are the foundation to the success of the GTAP.

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