Sunday, March 02, 2008

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund - January and February

I've missed a couple of months of the Dian Fossey Field News. Here's a quick catch-up...

January 2008
During 2007 the three large multi-male groups we had studied at Karisoke for the past several years broke up to form smaller groups, each with fewer males, and many females transferred among groups. Some silverbacks began to roam on their own. This was the most dramatic period of change in the Karisoke gorillas’ social organization since our long-term studies began decades ago!
February 2008
On Jan. 7, the Karisoke Research Center field staff was amazed to find that Kwiruka, a 31- year-old female, had moved into Bwenge’s group, which was formed in 2007. Kwiruka had lived in Shinda’s group since 1993, when an older group (called Group 5) split into Shinda’s group (including Kwiruka) and Pablo’s groups. Kwiruka held a very high position in the group, and that makes her decision to leave the group really unclear. In moving to Bwenge’s group, she left behind numerous offspring in Shinda’s group, including three silverbacks, an adult female and a 4-year-old daughter, Ubufatanye.

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