Protect Great Apes From Disease

Kimberley Hockings 4:46 UK

It is more important now than ever before to follow international disease mitigation guidelines when visiting great apes.

The main objective of my research is to elucidate the underlying mechanisms that allow human-wildlife coexistence. I have a particular interest in the drivers of resource competition, disease transmission, and aggressive interactions between human and nonhuman great apes in shared landscapes. Comprehensively examining bi-directional interactions requires an understanding of the ways in which animals flexibly modify their behaviour in response to the costs and benefits of anthropogenic habitats, and how local people perceive and respond to sympatric wildlife. To do this effectively demands a cross-disciplinary skills base, and my research increasingly combines biological, ecological, and social science approaches. A goal of my research is to work with different stakeholders to generate locally appropriate and culturally sensitive solutions to conservation dilemmas. I conduct fieldwork in West Africa, including research on wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Bossou in Guinea, and various primate species including chimpanzees and colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus temminckii) at Cantanhez National Park in Guinea-Bissau. I supervise students working on human-great ape interactions across Africa, and have supervised dissertations on various aspects of wildlife behaviour and conservation across Africa, Asia, and the Neotropics. I am a member of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group (PSG) Section on Great Apes (SGA); COVID-19 working group; Section on Chimpanzee Culture and Conservation; Section on Human-Primate Interactions, and the Conservation Working Party of the Primate Society of Great Britain.