Post-Release Monitory of Bonobos:
In response to the illegal bushmeat and pet trade, orphanages have been established across Africa to confiscate infant apes that are for sale in African markets. Our research groups works with Friends of Bonobos to support their welfare and conservation efforts to protect bonobos in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The orphanage has conducted the world’s first bonobo release in which a group of orphan bonobos raised at the orphanage were released back into the wild. The question is now how well will these orphans adapt to life in the wild after a life in captivity.
We are advising Friends of Bonobos (www.friendsofbonobos.org) on observational methods to measure the activity budgets of the released bonobos so that they can be compared to that of wild bonobos. This research is being conducted to monitor the health of the bonobos and document the strengths and weaknesses of release as a strategy in the effort to conserve wild bonobos in the future.