Project Information

Monitoring Ape Behavior
By monitoring how chimpanzees and gorillas interact with their surroundings, the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project increases our understanding of these endangered animals.

Weighing the Impact of Logging
By studying how apes respond to logging in the area around the Goualougo Triangle, the project aims to improve standards for sustainable forestry.

Monitoring Ape Behavior

Untouched by human influence, the Goualougo Triangle’s chimpanzees and gorillas provide a glimpse into rarely witnessed natural behaviors. Morgan and Sanz collaborate with a field team of Congolese researchers and assistants to track the apes as they move through the forest, recording how the animals interact with one another, manipulate tools and forage for food. Motion-sensitive “camera traps” provide behavioral footage of elusive animals from remote regions of the park while fecal samples are collected and analyzed to provide a window into their well-being.

Observations from the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project complement Lincoln Park Zoo’s research with chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, enabling comparisons of chimpanzee behavior between the regions. One exciting finding: Goualougo researchers have seen the region’s chimpanzees display a novel tool-using behavior. The apes use a stout stick to “punch” holes in termite mounds—something unseen elsewhere—before “fishing” the insects out with a slender, herbaceous tool.

Learn more at the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project web site.

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Weighing the Impact of Logging

As researchers monitor the apes of the Goualougo Triangle to learn more about their behavior, they’re also collecting data about the impact of logging on chimpanzee and gorillas. The Goualougo Triangle is part of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, but the forests around the Triangle are allocated for timber exploitation. By monitoring the movement of at-risk chimpanzee and gorilla populations before, during and after logging, the researchers are gathering information to improve sustainable logging practices, boosting conservation across Africa.

Learn more at the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project web site.

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Related Projects

A network of 65 “camera traps” lets zoo scientists record gorilla and chimpanzee behavior and tool use throughout the 95,000-acre Goualougo Triangle.

Goualougo Video Lab
A network of 65 “camera traps” records ape behavior in the Republic of Congo’s Goualougo Triangle. By analyzing this footage at the zoo, our scientists are revealing new findings about how chimpanzees and gorillas live in the wild.