Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mbeli Bai Project focuses on gorilla conservation

We were fortunate to recently have Thomas Breuer join us to discuss his project focusing on the use of "bais" --the swampy clearings in the forest---located in central Africa. These bais are havens for native wildlife including forest elephants and western lowland gorillas. Much of Breuer's work is tracking the demographics of the gorilla groups that come to feed on the rich plant life in the bais. During his six years, they have identified and observed several groups and individually identified gorillas, tracking their individual life histories. In the process, they've learned a tremendous amount about gorilla behavior and helped conserve the populations utilizing the bais.

As part of his visit, we taped a segment with Breuer as he talks about the project. Woodland Park Zoo is one of the proud funders of this project. Take a look at the video in the Video Bar on the right. Also included is an excellent piece by National Geographic showing recent discoveries about gorilla tool use among the bai individuals.

1 comment:

  1. Very beautiful, thanks a lot!
    These lowland gorillas might give us an idea of how the Plio-Pleistocene hominids lived in swamp forests (hominids = humans, chimpansees & bonobos, gorillas & their fossil relatives Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, Orrorin & Sahelanthropus).
    Google "aquarboreal" (aqua=water + arbor=tree).

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