Abstract # 31:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


FACTORS AFFECTING THE CROP-RAIDING BEHAVIOR OF AN EASTERN CHIMPANZEE POPULATION IN GISHWATI FOREST, RWANDA

R. Wilson, C. Pavia, T. Fitzgerald, M. O'Brien, A. Brooks, A. Zabinski, B. Anantha, S. Dewald, A. Hallenbeck, A. Rundus and R. Chancellor
West Chester University, Department of Psychology , 690 South Church Street, West Chester, PA 19383, USA
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     Previous research has suggested that forest fragmentation and anthropogenic activities increase conflict between humans and chimpanzees. Gishwati forest, Rwanda is home to an eastern chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) population of ~30 individuals that raid nearby farms for maize. We investigated crop-raiding in this population through observations of feeding remains in maize fields to determine the environmental predictors (size of maize field, distance to forest) of this behavior. A total of 10 crop-raiding events were observed between November 2016 and February 2017. The events occurred in only two (10%) of the 21 maize fields surrounding Gishwati. We found that neither the size of the maize field nor the distance of the maize field to the forest predicted the occurrence of crop-raiding (F_2,18 = 0.04, p = 0.96). Additional factors that may influence crop-raiding include topography, the distance of a maize field to human settlements, and a chimpanzee’s prior experience raiding a field. Results from this study will help to inform ongoing efforts to mitigate crop-raiding by primates.