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Miami team to chase chimps in Africa

Four researchers from Miami are flying to West Africa Jan. 31 to chase chimps for four months in Senegal, the hottest, driest and most open habitat in Africa.

The team of zoologists and anthropologists is receiving funding from the National Geographic Society, the Leakey Foundation and Primate Conservation Inc.

"We can no longer study our extinct ancestors, but we can try to learn something about their life ways by studying our closest living relation—the chimpanzee—in a habitat most like the one in which our ancestors lived," said William McGrew (sociology, gerontology and anthropology and zoology).

The population of chimpanzees surviving in Senegal is estimated at no more than 200 to 300, but they have never been comprehensively surveyed.

"We will do so by systematically checking suitable habitat areas over hundreds of square kilometers of southeastern Senegal," said McGrew.

Others team members include Linda Marchant (sociology, gerontology and anthropology); Jill Pruetz, a post-doctoral fellow in zoology; and Janae Arno, a December 1999 Miami graduate with a double major in zoology and anthropology.

Date Published: 01/27/2000
Volume: 19   Number: 22

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