Monitoring Ape Behavior

Throughout each day, researchers from the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes use tablet computers to observe and record the activities of chimpanzees and gorillas living at Regenstein Center for African Apes.

Daily Monitoring to Better Understand Ape Behavior

Throughout each day, researchers from the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes use tablet computers to observe and record the activities of chimpanzees and gorillas living at Regenstein Center for African Apes. This data, which now totals more than 5,000 hours of observations, lets Fisher Center scientists and the zoo’s Animal Care team explore chimpanzee and gorilla behavior and ensure their continued high-quality care.

Activity Budget for Apes at Regenstein Center for African Apes

An activity budget for apes at Regenstein Center for African Apes

Exploring Social Spacing

One application for the behavioral-monitoring database is calculating the distances observed between members of the same species living in a social group. Using a 1 foot by 1 foot grid overlaid on enclosure maps, researchers precisely record the location of each individual in a group every minute throughout a 30-minute session. The resulting social spacing information is used to calculate the average group distance—valuable information for understanding behavior and ensuring optimal housing.


Ape Behavior Internships At The Fisher Center

The encouragement and training of the next generation of primatologists is a key aspect of the Fisher Center’s mission. We offer opportunities for aspiring primatologists to gain valuable experience in a rigorous scientific environment and be part of a long-term, established program in ape behavioral science.
Learn More About Ape Behavior Internships


Staff

Steve Ross, Ph.D., is director of Lincoln Park Zoo's Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes

Steve Ross, Ph.D.
Director, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes

Marisa Shender is a research assistant in Lincoln Park Zoo's Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes.

Marisa Shender
Research Assistant, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes

Kathy Wagner is the David Bohnett Foundation Ape Cognition Research Assistant in Lincoln Park Zoo's Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes.

Kathy Wagner
David Bohnett Foundation Ape Cognition Research Assistant, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes

Laura Kurtcyz is a research assistant in Lincoln Park Zoo's Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes.

Laura Kurtycz
Research Assistant, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes


Links

The EthoSearch database was created to provide broad access to ethograms, encourage standardized terminology within ethograms and encourage use of peer-reviewed ethograms by scientists, zoo and aquarium professionals, students and educators.  

Ethosearch
This database was created to provide broad access to ethograms, encourage standardized terminology within ethograms and encourage use of peer-reviewed ethograms by scientists, zoo and aquarium professionals, students and educators.