297 pages, 52 line figures; 41 halftones
Overview of the crucial research programmes that have been carried out in the Budongo Forest, western Uganda, in recent years. With an introduction by Jane Goodall.
From the publisher's announcement:
Unlike humans, who came down from the trees and developed bipedal locomotion, chimpanzees have remained in the original habitat of our ancestors: the tropical rainforests of Africa.
In this book, Vernon Reynolds describes in detail the work of a large number of students and senior researchers on the wild chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest Reserve in Western Uganda. He presents a coherent and in-depth account of one chimpanzee community of more than 60 individuals living in the Sonso area in the middle of the Budongo Forest, which he and his colleagues have studied intensively over the last 15 years. The chimpanzees have never been provisioned and live in an entirely natural state. Reynolds describes their forest habitat, their diet and culture, their social organization and behaviour, their diseases, and the threats to them that derive from the actions of people in the surrounding villages, the most serious of these being the presence of snares set by hunters to catch small antelopes and pigs.
As founder and head of the Budongo Forest Project, Professor Reynolds has been responsible for compiling the numerous publications, reports, and dissertations written about these chimpanzees. In this book, he combines these new and often unpublished studies with past publications about Budongo Forest. Where appropriate, he also compares the Budongo chimpanzees with wild chimpanzees studied at other sites across Africa. The result is the most comprehensive account of the Budongo chimpanzees ever published, with a wealth of referenced material that will serve as a source of information for many years to come.
Primatologists are lucky to have the dedication, persistence, and sheer determined-ness of a small band of field researchers who have personally held together such long-term studies. Vernon Reynolds, the author of this synthetic new book is one such scientist. For anyone working with chimpanzees or other primates, it is a valuable contribution. Only rarely these days do scientists have the time, energy or financial and logistical support to be able to pull together such a comprehensive work. P.C. Lee, University of Stirling, Folia primatologica " an invaluable addition to the description of chimpanzee behavioural diversity, and a classic demonstration of how to combine research and conservation. Even more, it is an elegant introduction to the natural history of a species that still offers important biological puzzles." Richard Wrangham
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