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Ngogo Chimpanzee Project

Long-term research of the Ngogo chimpanzee community in Kibale National Park, Uganda, was initiated by John Mitani (University of Michigan) and David Watts (YaleUniversity) in 1995. Kevin Langergraber (Boston University & Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology) joined the Ngogo Chimpanzee Project as a graduate student in 2001 and as a co-director in 2011. The Ngogo chimpanzee community is by far the largest yet described; as of April 2012, it consisted of 188 members, including 32 adult males, 13 adolescent males, 58 adult females, 12 adolescent females, 27 juveniles, and 46 infants.

Much research at Ngogo has focused on explaining the ecological reasons for this unusual demographic situation and its influence on chimpanzee behavior. Past and ongoing topics of study include intra- and inter-sexual social relationships and cooperation, kinship and social relationships, mating behavior and reproductive success, hunting and meat sharing, territorial behavior, and feeding ecology. In addition to following the chimpanzees and recording their behavior, researchers at Ngogo also non-invasively collect urine, feces, and other biological materials for endocrinological and genetic analyses, as well as conduct phenological and botanical studies of the forest ecology.

The Ngogo Chimpanzee Project also employs a team of local Ugandans who work alongside local law enforcement officers (Uganda Wildlife Authority) to collect snares and curtail illegal hunting within the park. They also collect fecal samples for an ongoing genetics-based chimpanzee monitoring program which aims to determine the size, composition, number and location of unhabituated chimpanzee communities within the 800 km2 Kibale National Park.

Please see the following links for more information about research and conservation at Ngogo: