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Hunting of mammals by central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in the Loango National Park, Gabon (advance online)

MPS-Authors
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Klein,  Harmomie
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Baas,  Pauline
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Bunel,  Sarah
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Théleste,  Erwan
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Deschner,  Tobias
Endocrinology Laboratory, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Chimpanzees, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Klein, H., Bocksberger, G., Baas, P., Bunel, S., Théleste, E., Pika, S., et al. (2021). Hunting of mammals by central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in the Loango National Park, Gabon (advance online). Primates. doi:10.1007/s10329-020-00885-4.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-DAB5-7
Abstract
The predation and consumption of animals are common behaviours in chimpanzees across tropical Africa. To date, however, relatively little is known concerning the hunting behaviour of central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes). Here, we provide the first direct observations of hunting behaviour by individuals of the newly habituated Rekambo community in the Loango National Park, Gabon. Over a period of 23 months (May 2017 to March 2019), we observed a total of 61 predation attempts on eight mammal species, including four monkey species. The two most frequently hunted species were two monkey species (Cercocebus torquatus, Cercopithecus nictitans), which are not hunted at other long-term field sites. The majority of predation events observed involved parties of an average of eight individuals, mainly adult males, with hunting success being higher with increasing numbers of participants. Hunting occurred all year round, but hunting rates increased in the dry season, the period of high fruit availability in the Loango National Park. These results are in line with the nutrient surplus hypothesis which explains seasonal variation in hunting behaviour in several populations of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii: e.g., Mahale, Tanzania; Ngogo, Uganda). Finally, with a hunting frequency of 2.65 hunts per month, the Rekambo community had higher hunting rates than other sites (Bossou, Republic of Guinea; Kahuzi-Biega, Democratic Republic of Congo; Budongo, Uganda) where red colobus monkeys are also absent. We discuss these results and compare them to patterns at other long-term sites.