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Director: Thomas Breuer
Research Objectives: Longitudinal study of social behavior, group dynamics and patterns of swamp use in western lowland gorillas.
Field Positions and Volunteers: Principal Investigator, research assistant, Congolese researcher
Species Studied: Gorilla gorilla gorilla (western lowland gorilla)
Other Species at Site: Cercocebus agilis (agile mangabey), Cercopithecus cephus (moustached guenon), Cercopithecus neglectus (de Brazza's monkey), Cercopithecus nictitans (greater spot-nosed monkey), Cercopithecus pogonias (crested mona), Colobus guereza (guereza), Lophocebus albigena (gray-cheeked mangabey), Pan troglodytes troglodytes (Central African chimpanzee), Piliocolobus foai oustaleti (Central African red colobus)
Comments: Mbeli bai is a natural swampy clearing of c. 13ha and is a preferred feeding site for western lowland gorillas. It is often visited by more than one group of gorillas in a single day, and 19 groups and 8 solitary silverback gorillas have now been identified; totaling over 180 gorillas. Observations are made from an observation platform overlooking the bai, which affords the researchers an unrestricted view of all individuals and interactions. Gorillas are completely habituated to the presence of researchers on the platform, providing much greater levels of visibility than would be possible using traditional study methods such as tracking through the forest.
Last Updated: 2007-10-24
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