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Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative (1997-ongoing)
Field Study in Africa
Web Site:
Location of Site: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, Salonga National Park

Director: Gay Edwards Reinartz, Ph.D.
Phone: (414) 276-0339/ (262)375-4445   Fax: (414) 276-0886   E-Mail:
10005 W. Blue Mound Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226 UNITED STATES
Department: Conservation
Institution: Zoological Society of Milwaukee

Sponsoring Institution(s): The Zoological Society of Milwaukee working in collaboration with the Institut Congolais pour Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), CARPE and the World Wildlife Fund -US. Supporting institutions: AZA Conservation Endowment Fund, Benifica Foundation, Columbus Zoo, Conservation Food and Health Foundation Inc., Irvin Young Foundation, Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, Alan Margolis, numerous private donors, Wildlife Conservation Network, the Zoological Society of San Diego, the Fort Worth Zoo, the Great Ape Trust of Iowa, the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp and the Milwaukee County Zoo

Research Objectives: The Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative (BCBI) is a multi-faceted conservation and research program. BCBI locates and studies new bonobo populations, preserves bonobo habitat, and helps impoverished local communities that depend on the rain forest for their subsistence. Since its inception in 1997, BCBI has:
- Discovered new bonobo populations and set up means to protect them. Focusing work in the Salonga National Park, a U.N. World Heritage Site, BCBI regularly surveys forests in search of bonobo populations and studies the ecological factors that influence bonobo distribution.
- Developed anti-poaching programs in the Salonga National Park to protect apes, forest elephants and other endangered animals from their worst threat â poaching. BCBI trains, equips and supports park guards who patrol bonobo-rich areas and enforce laws that prohibit hunting of endangered species.
- Provided jobs, literacy education and support for agricultural cooperatives to communities living near the park so that local people have a vested interest in protecting the bonobo. These activities reduce peopleâs reliance on illegal hunting for bush meat.

Field Positions and Volunteers: n/a

Species Studied: Pan paniscus (bonobo)

Other Species at Site: Allenopithecus nigroviridis (Allen's swamp monkey), Cercocebus chrysogaster (golden-bellied mangabey), Cercopithecus ascanius (red-tailed monkey), Cercopithecus ascanius whitesidei (red-tailed monkey), Cercopithecus dryas (dryas monkey), Cercopithecus neglectus (de Brazza's monkey), Cercopithecus wolfi (Wolf's mona), Colobus angolensis (Angola colobus), Galago demidoff (Prince Demidoff's bushbaby), Galago thomasi (Thomas's galago), Lophocebus aterrimus (black mangabey), Perodicticus potto (potto), Piliocolobus tholloni (Tholan's red colobus)

Publications: 1). Reinartz, G.E., Inogwabini, B.I., Mafuta, N. E., Lisalama, W.W. (20ar06) Effects of forest types on bonobo (Pan paniscus) density in the Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. International Journal of Primatology 27(2):603-634.

2). Reinartz, G.E., Guislain, P., Bolinga, M., Isomana, E., and Bokomo, N. (2008). Ecological factors influencing bonobo density and distribution in the Salonga National Park: applications for population assessment. In (eds.) T. Furuichi and J.Thompson. Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects, Bonobos Revisited: ecology, behavior, genetics and conservation, Springer, New York, USA. p. 167-188.

Comments: Principle Investigator for this project is Dr. Gay Edwards Reinartz, Zoological Society of Milwaukee. The project is conducted in full partnership with the Institut Congolais pour Conservation de la Nature, Ministry of the Environment, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last Updated: 2010-02-22

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