Mahale 50 Kyoto, Tokyo & Kigoma

Kazuhiko Hosaka
Co-chairman, Mahale Wildlife Conservation Society
c/o Kamakura Women’s University, Japan

As announced in the previous issue, this year of 2015 flied as various events were planned and carried out to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Mahale Mountains Chimpanzee Research Project (MMCRP). In Kyoto on 18 July, a workshop at the 31st Congress of the Primate Society of Japan was held for the purpose of not only reviewing the long-term research at Mahale but also stimulating discussion about common interests shared among field primatologists, such as how to collect and use basic data relating to habitat ecology and life history of study species. In Tokyo on 12 October, a symposium at the 69th Congress of the Anthropological Society of Nippon was held to review long-term and recent findings from Mahale focusing on three topics (demography, DNA research, nocturnal behaviors of wild chimpanzees), leading to discussion about future contributions of wild ape research to anthropology.

Figure 1. Twenty-three posters featuring 21 topics of research and conservation at Mahale were exhibited in a lobby of Yayoi Auditorium Ichijo Hall, the University of Tokyo.

Two ceremonial gatherings took place both in Tokyo, Japan and in Kigoma, Tanzania successfully. First, ‘Mahale 50 Exhibition and Symposium: 50 Years of Wild Chimpanzee Studies’ was held at the Yayoi Auditorium of the University of Tokyo on 19 September. The event was open to the public at large and gathered by more than 350 participants. It comprised an exhibition at the lobby and a symposium at the hall. The exhibition featured 21 topics of research and conservation at Mahale (Figure 1). All the poster exhibitions (in Japanese) were later edited as online educational materials and are now available free of charge at http://mahale.main.jp/50th/panels/contents.html. The symposium was called to order by Kazuhiko Hosaka addressing the aim of this public event, followed by Rashidi Kitopeni, a longtime research assistant for MMCRP and a member of Mahale Wildlife Conservation Society (MWCS) local staff, reading a congratulatory address. The first session entitled ‘A half-century exploring wild chimpanzees&’ comprised three speakers, Kosei Izawa, Yukio Takahata, and Michio Nakamura with Toshikazu Hasegawa presiding. The second session entitled ‘For the next 50 years of research’ comprised three speakers, Nobuko Nakazawa, Takuya Matsumoto, and Juichi Yamagiwa with Hitoshige Hayaki presiding. The final session was a panel discussion of all six speakers with Masaki Shimada presiding (Figure 2).

Figure 2. A panel discussion in the final session of the public symposium, “Fifty years of wild chimpanzee studies”.

On 26 November, an international workshop to celebrate the 50th anniversary of collaboration between Japan and Tanzania took place at Kigoma, Tanzania. For the detail, see the next news article.

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