HOPE report

Number: 25-001

The purpose of this travel was to study the social interactions of orangutans.

Report: Renata Andreia da Silva Mendonça

Date: 2013/4/15 - 2013/7/15

To study orangutan development in wild orangutans, it is very important to focus in mother-infant interactions, the strongest (and the only stable) social bond known in orangutans. The mother provides the primary care and contributes to the development of the repertoire of social behaviours in her offspring, being the essential behavioural models during the long-term attachment with their offspring.

The main objective of this field research is to study the social interactions between female orangutans and their offspring, aiming to understand how ecological factors and hormonal status of the mother influence mother behaviour toward her offspring. My foccus is mother-infant dyads, however data on other classes, such as, juveniles, and adult males, are also being collect for further comparisons. One day of work starts around 5 am, when orangutans wake up from the nest, and ends around 6pm when they make a new nest to sleep for the night. I go to the forest and collect data and samples with the help of three well trained research assistants. We follow one orangutan per day, since they are solitary species, according to a protocol used by all orangutans study sites ( http://www. aim. uzh. ch/Research/orangutannetwork. html). Activity of mother and infant is collected, social interactions between them and with other individuals, feeding behaviour and food list, as well as, urine samples for posterior hormonal analisys

Infant drinking water

Lina and her baby Kate resting on a branch

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