Attending a symposium and field work focused on difference in sociality among female bonobos

報告者: 柳興鎭 (リュ フンジン)

期間: 2011/8/7 - 2012/1/30

 Wild bonobos are only found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So, it is necessary to go to DR Congo to conduct research on the wild population. And my research topic is focused on female reproductive strategy which I assumed that it depends upon their life history issue. In particular I want to compare each female's sociality according to a female's age and sex and age of its children. For the reasons I should do conduct research on well-known bonobo population. Japanese researchers have conducted researches on one community bonobo at Wamba for around 40 years, and therefore its demographic information is also well-known. It is ideal and suitable for me to conduct my research there. Although there are some captive bonobo populations in the world, they are under control for population management or another purpose. Therefore it is necessary for me to go to the DR Congo to conduct research on bonobo.

 Before I went to Wamba to conduct field research on bonobo, I attended a symposium at Mabali in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was very good time, although I was suffering from common cold. During symposium, I was so much impressed by many Congolese researchers. They were very passionate and motivated by their own research. I think that the symposium made me more ambitious and passionate. After the symposium, I went to Wamba and conducted field work on bonobos of E1 group. For daily observation, I usually got up 4 o'clock in the morning and left the camp earlier than 5 in the morning. Sometimes I and trackers should work more than 2 hours to get to the bed site. At the beginning it was so hard for me, but after one month I got used to do it.

 I mainly focused on female bonobos but, I also collected data on male bonobos. I collected data through continuous focal sampling with help from one tracker. We followed one focal animal for 20 minutes, although we lost them often because of poor visibility. But the hardest part of the focal animal sampling was following an individual when it traveled on the ground. They were so fast and there were lots of vines in the forest which hindered us to follow focal animal. But, I did my best to accomplish my field work and many trackers also were so helpful for me. Now I am inputting data which I collected. I am really excited about outcome of my data. I really appreciate all the help from PRI, my supervisor and ITP-HOPE program.

Yuki and Yume

In the symposium at Mabali

With trackers

HOPE Project<>