Mountain Gorillas: Three Decades of Research at Karisoke

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Over thirty years ago, Dian Fossey established the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda to study the behavior and ecology of mountain gorillas. Some of the offspring of the gorillas first studied by Fossey are still being observed today and the long-term observations on known individuals, from birth to death, and data on social behavior within and among the groups have led to an understanding of many aspects of gorilla social structure. Written by scientists who have worked at Karisoke over the years, this book highlights and summarizes what we have learned about the behavior, ecology, and conservation of the genus Gorilla and two other recognized subspecies and provides some comparisons with other gorilla populations elsewhere in Africa.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...I recommend this book to all those who are concerned abut the conservation of the highly endangered mountain gorillas." Govindasamy Agoramoorthy, Journal of Mammalogy

"...a solid and easily accessible summary of the work at Karisoke over the past decades. I already look forward to a follow-up volume." International Journal of Primatology

"[T]he editors have done an excellent job of making the book cohesive and informative. All chapters contain useful summaries and independent bibliographies, which make the book accessible to both general readers and those with more specific interests. The book deserves wide attention as, in addition to the solid academic content of behavioral and ecological research, the conservation context provides a classic case study...Taken as a whole, this well-written book provides an unparalleled vision of mountain gorilla society against a background of a conservation saga that could so easily have ended with extinction...should be read by all students of conservation biology." Conservation Biology

"...this book provides a valuable resource, both as a complete summary of work to date, and also as a starting point for future research and conversation of this endangered Great Ape." Ethology

From The Critics
Paying homage to the groundbreaking work of the late Dian Fossey at Karisoke, Rwanda, contributors to 15 papers chronicle research into the ecosystem, social organization, and behavior of this endangered primate population and conservation efforts from the 1970s through the late 1990s. Comparisons are made between the Virunga mountain group and eastern lowland gorillas. Includes photographs of gorilla behavior and a map of the study area. Robbins is with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. The co-editors are at the U. of Calgary and the U. of California at Davis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Mountain gorillas of the Virungas: a short history Kelly J. Stewart, Pascale Sicotte and Martha M. Robbins; Part I. Variation in the Social System of Gorillas: 2. Variation in the social system of mountain gorillas: the male perspective Martha M. Robbins; 3. Female mate choice in mountain gorillas Pascale Sicotte; 4. Dispersal patterns, group structure and reproductive parameters of eastern lowland gorillas at Kahuzi in the absence of infanticide Juichi Yamagiwa and Alastair McNeilage; Part II. Within-group Social Behaviour: 6. Development of infant independence from the mother in wild mountain gorillas Alison Fletcher; 7. The social relationships of immature gorillas and silverbacks Kelly J. Stewart; 8. Social relationships of female mountain gorillas David P. Watts; 9. Vocal relationships of wild mountain gorillas A. H. Harcourt and Kelly J. Stewart; Part III. Feeding Behaviour: 10. Diet and habitat use of two mountain gorilla groups in contrasting habitats in the Virungas Alastair McNeilage; 11. Clever hands: the food processing skills of mountain gorillas Richard W. Byre; Part IV. Conservation and Management of Mountain Gorillas: 12. Assessment of reproduction and stress through hormone analysis in gorillas Nancy Czekala and Martha M. Robbins; 13. Clinical medicine, preventive health care and research on mountain gorillas in the Virunga volcano region Anthony B. Mudakikwa, Michael R. Cranfield, Jonathon M. Sleeman and Ute Eilenberger; 14. Conservation oriented research in the Virunga region Andrew J. Plumptre and Elizabeth A. Williamson; 15. Status of the Virunga mountain gorilla population H. Dieter Steklis and Netzin Gerald-Steklis; Afterward: Mountain gorillas at the turn of the century Bill Weber and Amy Vedder.

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