Chimpanzees adapt their foraging behavior to avoid human contact

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Research by PhD candidate Nicola Bryson-Morrison from the University of Kent's School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC) suggests chimpanzees are aware of the risks of foraging too close to humans.

The findings could play a vital role in helping further understand how activities and development affect chimpanzee behaviour and use.

Nicola and her team conducted the research in Bossou, Guinea, West Africa between April 2012 and March 2013.

They carried out six-hour morning and afternoon follows of the crop-foraging over a full year to record their various behaviours in different habitat types across the landscape.

They found that the chimpanzees preferred mature primary forest for all behaviours and avoided foraging in non-cultivated habitats within 200m from cultivated fields, suggesting an awareness of the associated risks of being too close to locations where humans were likely to be present.

However, the chimpanzees did not avoid foraging close to unsurfaced roads or paths where vehicles or humans may be present.

The risks related to roads and paths may be less than cultivated fields where humans are more likely to behave antagonistically towards chimpanzees.

The findings have been published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Primatology.

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More information: Nicola Bryson-Morrison et al, Activity and Habitat Use of Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Anthropogenic Landscape of Bossou, Guinea, West Africa, International Journal of Primatology (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s10764-016-9947-4
Provided by University of Kent
Citation: Chimpanzees adapt their foraging behavior to avoid human contact (2017, May 30) retrieved 12 April 2021 from
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