Approaches and methods

A combination of field and laboratory methods are combined to answer some of the following questions:

  1. Under which socio-demographic and ecological conditions is meat consumption likely to increase in frequency?
  2. Under which conditions does diversification of behaviour emerge?
  3. Under which conditions does tool use complexity increase

Data are collected with a variety of methods and for investigating (a) resource availability, (b) social-demographic structure, and (c) behavior

Data Method
Vegetation (Habitat structure) Transects, plots
Vegetation (Seasonal fruit availability) Phenology: Revisits of selected trees
Prey Camera traps, line transects
Insects Strip and line transects, bee traps
Predators Camera traps
Social structure Camera traps, genetics
Demography Camera traps, genetics
Meat consumption Isotope analysis of hair and baseline flora and fauna
Tool use and availability Camera traps, Strip transects
Genetics Fecal samples
Pathogens Fecal samples
Biodiversity Camera traps, line transects, carrion fly traps


Our full data collection protocol is available as a free .pdf download in ENGLISH and en FRANCAIS.

Guidelines for research and data collection for the cultured chimpanzee Pan African programme - field protocol [pdf]
Directives pour la recherche et la collecte des données pour le Programme Pan Africain: Le chimpanzé cultivé

IUCN Survey Guidelines

This document outlines current approaches to great ape surveys and monitoring for field biologists, protected area managers, government wildlife departments and the conservation community at large.