Conservation of great apes in Africa relies on forest protection, and vice versa: on this episode we discuss a campaign in Cameroon to protect the second-largest rainforest in the world and its incredibly diverse (and mysterious) ape inhabitants, and share an intriguing tale of forest gardening by chimps.
Ekwoge Abwe is head of the Ebo Forest Research Project in Cameroon, and shares how he became the first scientist to discover chimpanzees there use tools to crack open nuts. He also discusses ongoing efforts to safeguard Ebo Forest against the threats of oil palm expansion and logging, against which it just won a surprise reprieve.
We also speak with Alex Chepstow-Lusty, an associate researcher at Cambridge University who shares the incredible story of how chimpanzees helped Africa’s rainforests regenerate after they collapsed some 2,500 years ago, by spreading the forests seeds (a phenomenon known as 'zoochory') and why that makes chimps important to the health of forests like Ebo Forest both today and into the future, as well.
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