Goualougo Triangle Field Diaries

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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.

April 15, 2010
Spies Like Us

Tropical forests are one of the most challenging environments in which to work. Beyond the physical conditions themselves, forests can be problematic for research because detailed observations can be extremely difficult to achieve. A dense understory, large trees with connecting canopies and elusive study animals challenge even the best and most-dedicated observers. Conditions like these have led many to search for alternative, high-tech solutions for assistance.

March 24, 2010
Exploring Congo’s Coastal Forest

I had heard about the coastal forests of Republic of Congo and Gabon for a long time. This is where the moist tropical forests and wildlife of central Africa meet the beach and crashing waves of the Atlantic. Can you imagine—surfing hippos and elephants strolling through white sand on a beach? And what about the apes that make this ecosystem—which is clearly different from Goualougo—their home too?

March 5, 2010
Back in Africa!

I’ve just returned from the U.S. to Brazzaville, the capitol of the Republic of Congo. This is a small city with very friendly people that is located in the south of the country along the impressive Congo River. I’m excited to be back for the start of my 11th year out in the Goualougo Triangle, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, studying chimpanzees and gorillas!

This trip is unusual, though, because I won’t have a direct departure north to the Goualougo Triangle.

February 18, 2010
GTAP in National Geographic

A reminder—be sure to check out the February 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine for “The Truth About Chimpanzees,” a full feature highlighting Dave and Crickette’s work with the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project.

January 19, 2010
Wine and Wildlife: The Truth About Chimpanzees

For one night only, join explorers David Morgan (Lincoln Park Zoo) and Crickette Sanz as they share groundbreaking discoveries about mankind’s closest living relatives! For the past decade, these primatologists have braved the steamy, dangerous and often-inhospitable forests of the Republic of Congo’s Goualougo Triangle to uncover truths about chimpanzees.

Their determination and innovative scientific approach have uncovered new secrets about some of the world’s last remaining great apes.

January 14, 2010
Launch Day!

The Lincoln Park Zoo Goualougo Triangle Ape Project pages have launched at http://www.lpzoo.org/gtap. Be sure to visit the official pages at http://www.congo-apes.org for more detailed information.

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