Chimpanzee Behaviour, Recent Understandings from Captivity and the Forest
Chimpanzee Behaviour: Recent Understandings from Captivity and the Forest brings diverse topics together in one volume. It presents new data from chimpanzee hunting behaviour and tool use in the forest. It covers gestural communication in free-living populations and sign language communication in captive individuals. It presents research in chimpanzee artwork including numerous images. Finally it provides a framework for care in captivity with a humane approach. Wild Mammals in Captivity: Principles and Techniques for Zoo Management, 2nd Edition
The chapters in this edited volume discuss recent findings and views on chimpanzee behaviour. With dwindling numbers in the forests of Africa and burgeoning numbers in captivity, chimpanzees, as a species, are in a critical place in time. Free living communities of chimpanzees live with cultures and ways of doing that are unknown to humans, but essential to the lives of each community member.
These cultures and those who live in them are disappearing at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, in North America and Europe chimpanzee research has ended, leaving hundreds of chimpanzees waiting for sanctuary placement. Zoos continue to bring new chimpanzees into captivity. A diaspora, captive chimpanzees have no possibility in life except captivity with its contrived communities and broken cultures. We can use what we have learned from chimpanzees to improve their care.
The Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute (CHCI) at Central Washington University was the home of Washoe and her family of signing chimpanzees from 1980 – 2013. A sanctuary for chimpanzees, this institute was a leader in humane noninvasive behavioral studies, compassionate and chimpanzee centered care, and a training ground for young primatologists. This book brings together some of what transpired in those walls. Most of the chapters are authored by students of CHCI, myself included.
Chapter authors Cleve Hicks (Chapter 1) and Crickette Sanz (Chapter 2), now with field sites of their own, received graduate training while caring daily for this group of chimpanzees. The lessons they learned there are reflected in their chapters through observational research and insight into the significance of the behaviors they observed in the forest. Gestures were a fundamental aspect of the communication research at CHCI. Catherine Hobaiter (Chapter 3) expands on concepts, themes, and future direction in studies of gesture from the forest.
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