Social Sciences Brown Bag

Kelly Boyer Ontl presents:

Chimpanzees in the Island of Gold: Impacts of Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining on Chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal


This study is the first to quantify the impacts of artisanal and small-scale gold mining on the behavior of a terrestrial mammal species. It provides evidence of direct learning by great apes to a novel human disturbance. In 2008, the global financial crisis sparked the onset of a gold rush in southeastern Senegal. Although gold mining has a long history in West Africa, it now threatens the critically endangered West African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus). Using the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project database, I have analyzed 10 years of chimpanzee observational data from pre-mining levels in 2005 through the construction of seven intensively mined artisanal sites by 2014. Here I report on changes in chimpanzee ranging behavior, habitat use, and human encounters with respect to the increasing presence of gold mining activity.

Friday, April 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Academic Office Building (AOB), 201
1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931

Event Type

Academics, Lectures/Seminars

Target Audience

Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni/Friends

Subscribing Departments ?

College of Sciences and Arts, Social Sciences


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