The theme of last few months at the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve has been transition and continuity. In the early months of this year, a new team of researchers and camp managers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology arrived. They will take over from the very capable team who built our forest research camp from scratch. The departing and incoming crews shared valuable information, which has enabled a smooth transition and will ensure that the research project continues to collect high quality data on bonobos and their environment. The progress achieved to date is evident in the photos that were shared by project leader Martin Surbeck from this latest expedition. The bonobos are much more comfortable with their human observers, which is helping the team to gather more and more information on how bonobos interact with each other and their environment.
Our local tracking teams have also undergone some transitions of their own. Not only have they been building relationships with the new research camp team, but some have been receiving additional training in bonobo habituation. The newly trained trackers will help to habituate the neighboring Bekako bonobo group, which has been observed interacting with the two research groups, known as the Ekalakala and Nkokoalongo bonobo groups. The trackers also welcomed a new younger member to the team—a testament to the legacy of BCI’s long-term work with the communities of Kololopori.
Not to be outdone by their human neighbors, the bonobos have also been doing their part in the continuity department. Two new males have been born this year in the Nkokoalongo group. The new members of this musician-themed group are Tupac (born to Tyler) and Schubert (born to Simone).
Through this infusion of new life and new team members at Kokolopori, we are helping to ensure the continuity of our work in protecting and learning more about bonobos. We are building something lasting for generations of people and bonobos alike. As always, thank you for standing with us…and please help BCI and our partners by spreading the word about our work!
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