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Human impact erodes chimpanzee behavioral diversity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Hjalmar S. Kühl, Christophe Boesch, Lars Kulik, Fabian Haas, Mimi Arandjelovic, Paula Dieguez, Gaëlle Bocksberger, Mary Brooke McElreath, Anthony Agbor, Samuel Angedakin, Emmanuel Ayuk Ayimisin, Emma Bailey, Donatienne Barubiyo, Mattia Bessone, Gregory Brazzola, Rebecca Chancellor, Heather Cohen, Charlotte Coupland, Emmanuel Danquah, Tobias Deschner & 57 others Orume Diotoh, Dervla Dowd, Andrew Dunn, Villard Ebot Egbe, Henk Eshuis, Rumen Fernandez, Yisa Ginath, Annemarie Goedmakers, Anne Céline Granjon, Josephine Head, Daniela Hedwig, Veerle Hermans, Inaoyom Imong, Kathryn J. Jeffery, Sorrel Jones, Jessica Junker, Parag Kadam, Mbangi Kambere, Mohamed Kambi, Ivonne Kienast, Deo Kujirakwinja, Kevin Langergraber, Juan Lapuente, Bradley Larson, Kevin Lee, Vera Leinert, Manuel Llana, Giovanna Maretti, Sergio Marrocoli, Tanyi Julius Mbi, Amelia C. Meier, Bethan Morgan, David Morgan, Felix Mulindahabi, Mizuki Murai, Emily Neil, Protais Niyigaba, Lucy Jayne Ormsby, Liliana Pacheco, Alex Piel, Jodie Preece, Sebastien Regnaut, Aaron Rundus, Crickette Sanz, Joost van Schijndel, Volker Sommer, Fiona Stewart, Nikki Tagg, Elleni Vendras, Virginie Vergnes, Adam Welsh, Erin G. Wessling, Jacob Willie, Roman M. Wittig, Kyle Yurkiw, Klaus Zuberbuehler, Ammie K. Kalan

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Chimpanzees possess a large number of behavioral and cultural traits among non-human species. The ‘disturbance hypothesis’ predicts that human impact depletes resources and disrupts social learning processes necessary for behavioral and cultural transmission. We used an unprecedented data set of 144 chimpanzee communities, with information on 31 behaviors, to show that chimpanzees inhabiting areas with high human impact have a mean probability of occurrence reduced by 88%, across all behaviors, compared to low impact areas. This behavioral diversity loss was evident irrespective of the grouping or categorization of behaviors. Therefore, human impact may not only be associated with the loss of populations and genetic diversity, but also affects how animals behave. Our results support the view that ‘culturally significant units’ should be integrated into wildlife conservation.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1453-1455
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume363
Issue number6434
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2019

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