Abstract # 6080 Event # 1:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 08:45 AM-09:45 AM: Session 1 (Decatur A) Featured Speaker


INTEGRATED CHIMPANZEE (PAN TROGLODYTES) AND ECOSYSTEM HEALTH IN THE GREATER GOMBE ECOSYSTEM, TANZANIA

T. R. Gillespie
Emory University and Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
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     There is widespread concern that infectious diseases pose one of the greatest risks to the survival of apes in the wild. With over fifty years of demographic and behavioral data, thirteen years of SIV prevalence data, ten years of syndromic health (ie. signs of gastro-intestinal and respiratory illness) and fecal macro- and micro-parasitic data; the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, are arguably the best characterized wild ape population in relation to health and disease-related threats. A disease risk analysis determined that infectious disease plays an important role in the observed and ongoing decline of the Gombe chimpanzee population, sparking the initiation of a prospective health monitoring system. After more than 12 years of non-invasive screening of chimpanzees for SIVcpz, it is now clear that there are differences in survival and fecundity between SIVcpz+ and SIVcpz – negative cohorts. In addition, mixed-methods approaches have allowed the Gombe Ecohealth team to examine the natural history of this disease and risk factors including opportunistic zoonotic and natural infections that contribute to these differences. This symposium will review the successes and challenges of this effort and provide insights as to how findings from Gombe may be applied to other wild primate research and conservation efforts.