Ammie Kalan: "A Pan-African Perspective: Chimpanzee behavioural diversity across their range"

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Talk abstract: The Pan African Programme: the Cultured Chimpanzee ('PanAf') began in 2010 and has used a standardized protocol for collecting data on wild chimpanzees at more than 40 sites across equatorial Africa. All chimpanzee communities studied to date were unhabituated to researchers at the time of data collection therefore remote camera-trap devices were the primary method for recording behavioural observations. Using such an approach, the PanAf has identified new behavioural variants in wild chimpanzees and has recently described unprecedented cultural complexity in community-specific termite fishing techniques. By combining PanAf data with what we already know about chimpanzees, we also demonstrated that just as wild populations are declining, both behavioural and cultural diversity are similarly threatened across their range due to increasing anthropogenic disturbance. Combined, this research highlights the need for widespread conservation efforts to encompass a variety of wild populations if we are to ever know the true extent of chimpanzee cultural diversity.

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