Freddy (left) and his mother Fitz
It seems that humans aren't the only species with helicopter parents. A recent study co-authored by BCI’s research director Dr. Martin Surbeck found that mother bonobos take active roles in helping their sons to achieve success...mating success, that is!
At his previous study site at LuiKotale, Surbeck and his fellow researchers noted that female bonobos occasionally interfered with mating couples. It wasn’t until they were able to analyze DNA from fecal samples and determine how the individual bonobos were related, that they were able to explain the behavior. It turns out that mother bonobos were helping their sons to get the best mating opportunities. Males who stayed close to their mothers in their groups were three times more likely to produce offspring.
At our Kokolopori site, Dr. Surbeck’s team of researchers is continuing this approach of observing bonobo behavior in conjunction with DNA collection and analysis to learn more about our primate “cousins.” This information can ultimately help us to improve conservation strategies. Of course, this work continues to be possible because of the foundation of community support and local knowledge at Kokolopori--and the generosity of our donors.
As always, thank you for standing with us!
P.S. GlobalGiving has another Bonus Day coming up next week! On Thursday, July 18, starting at 9:00 a.m. ET, GlobalGiving will have $250K in matching funds for donations of $100 and above! It’s a great opportunity to maximize the impact of your gift!
Fitz has at least three sons to manage!