Lesser Known Facts about Bonobos

  1. An entire bonobo carcass is sold as bushmeat in the Kindu market for a price of 50 U.S. dollars.
  2. Bonobo nests in the south (Maniema Province) are larger than bonobo nests in the north (Orientale Province).  Sounds rather like a Texas-Dakota phenomenon?
  3. The Balanga (important ethnic group in TL2) often “call in” bonobo when hunting  them.
    Demonstration 1 — This method calls all monkeys:

    Demonstration 2 – This method specifically calls bonobos:

  4. Today bonobos are most frequently killed with 12 caliber rifles but Major Ranger, a Maimai, killed two with an AK47 in one evening.
  5. Not only do bonobos only occur in the country of DR Congo and only in the forests on the left bank of the Congo River, but there are also large holes in their limited distribution.  In some areas they have been hunted to local extinction, in other areas they may never have existed.

Add a comment — whether question, criticism or another lesser-known fact.


  1. kim
    Posted 2008-09-21 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    How many bonobos are in one group in the lomami? Hundred, 50, 25?

  2. Terese Hart
    Posted 2008-09-21 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    The teams have mentioned very small groups — less than five (were there always more within “calling” distance?) and they have also spoken of seeing many many nests (in the range of 100) at one site. Will ask for field comment.

  3. Terese Hart
    Posted 2008-09-21 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Here is what Ash sent from his camp near Katopa:

    Well I’m sure Bonobos are the same as chimps. Fission – fusion groups. So there is one large family but during the day this can be divided up into many different groups out feeding in different places and late in the day some of these groups might come together for the night or they might come together at a good feeding site. Rarely the whole group is together.

    Therefore group size can vary greatly. From as little as just a few (3-4) up to 20 or maybe more.
    If we took nest group size we have from our data as definitive then that is what it would show. (3 – 20 with the odd group of 1, prob a lone male but not certain of course). However we are not totally certain of that right now. In other words have got nest group definition correct. A difficult one to know.

    4 times I have personally seen Bonobos now and each time group size varied. One observation was just a mother and her baby. The first obs was a group of approx 5/6. The 2nd was a larger group of about 10 and the final observation (on this trip) was a very large group of maybe 15-20 individuals.

    So a great mix of group size. Hope that helps.

  4. /home/customer/www/bonoboincongo.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/lomami/functions.php on line 203
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    Posted 2008-09-22 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Is this group behavior similar in Salonga National Park, or are there differences with the Lomami bonobos?

  5. Terese
    Posted 2008-09-25 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    This sent by Ashley:

    We found very large groups in Salonga as well but not very often.
    Also these very large groups seem to only occur here down near the savannah
    Not sure why and not sure it is a behavioral thing or just because of
    circumstances ie food or hunting or landscape. Maybe the savannah restricts
    their habitat.
    Either way we try to find out in the next few months. At least some
    preliminary ideas anyway.
    What is interesting is that there does seem to be many large nests in these
    groups that I do not remember from Salonga and neither do the other guys. So
    that might be interesting to try and find out what causes that. Different
    trees or feeding habits. Who knows.

  6. rebekah hart
    Posted 2008-09-26 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    maybe the nests are bigger because they like to sleep together???

    Ash trip well done – how is that awful strange rash. i hope better

  7. Posted 2008-10-29 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    You write very well.

  8. Rachael
    Posted 2008-12-12 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I am doing a sience report on the Bonobo and this site helped me alot thanks

  9. Terese Hart
    Posted 2008-12-13 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Very glad, Rachael, and good luck with the science project!!

  10. Posted 2009-06-01 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Dear Terese

    I really appreciate your site. i am putting together a program here in the states for kids and parents. I will be spending some time on the Bonobo. I will hope to link to your sight to educate families about this beautiful animal and the threats to its survival.

    Best to you in your endeavors.

    Maria Murphy

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