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Great news for chimpanzees
Date:2/16/2012

Morgan of the Lincoln Park Zoo and Crickette Sanz of Washington University have produced another major discoverya diversity of tool sets used for foraging by this population of chimpanzees. Rather than using one type of tool for collecting termites from insect nests, the chimps of Goualougo used two distinct types of tools, a short stick to perforate the nest, and a long "probe" to extract insects for consumption. This tool specialization discovery was the first of its kind in wild chimpanzee populations.

"This invaluable insight into the sophisticated minds of Goualougo's chimps would have been lost forever if not for the commitment of the government to safeguard the wonders of this forest," said WCS Executive Vice President of Conservation and Science John Robinson. "These chimps have greatly expanded our knowledge of chimpanzee culture. Continued work to study and protect this undisturbed population is essential."

With the apes of the Congo Basin facing increasing pressure from hunting, habitat loss, and the potential outbreak of devastating diseases such as Ebola, the protection of this area represents a major step towards ensuring their protection.

"Bringing the Goualougo Triangle into the borders of Nouabal-Ndoki will help conserve this landscape's unspoiled richness and provide a safe harbor for these unique apes," said Dr. James Deutsch, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Africa Program.

Chimpanzee conservation efforts in the Republic of Congo have been supported by the U.S. government through the U.S. Agency for International Development's Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Great Ape Conservation Fund and Wildlife Without Borders-Africa Program. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has also provided support. The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering H.R. 1760, a bill sponsored by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) that would extend the FWS Great Ape Conse
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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