Gombe chimpanzee blog

1 minute read

The Jane Goodall Institute has a blog, which has been updated daily for some time. According to the description:

Gombe scientists tell us about their work, daily chimp dramas, the beauty of the landscape and the struggles they experience and observe. Jane drops in now and then, too.

There is a lot of content in the daily entries, really like a diary version of field notes. I'm pasting a sample, which gives the flavor of just how interesting it is, especially if you have seen documentary footage of these chimpanzees:

Sandi is swelling again, which means she has attracted quite a following. Every male (Kris, Freud, Tubi, Frodo, Wilkie, Gimble, Apollo, Sheldon, Kris, Faustino, and Pax) is closely following her every move. Even the adolescents Ferdinand, Titan and Zeus are waiting in the wings for their chance to sneak a copulation with her at the risk of aggression from the adults. The day was filled with mating, and of course the alpha male, Kris, was most active. When the males were not trying to copulate with Sandi, they were busy fighting each other, trying to keep each other away from Sandi. These fights were impressive, with males chasing each other out of trees, many of them crashing down into the bushes below in their hurry to escape the aggression of another. It certainly is an interesting show, although all the chaos can make it difficult to observe who is actually doing what.

I really recommend it; it's like a chimpanzee soap opera. The only downside is that the entries require Google Earth to read them. This allows the cool map integration that Google Earth does so well, but it seems superfluous here, since the entries don't depend crucially on their locations within the reserve.

I assume that Google must have contributed some money for this, so I wish them well, but it does make it harder to read.