African Honeyguides

Research on a remarkable
human-animal relationship

Thank you – Asante Sana – Te Agredecemos

Our work in Mozambique is made possible by the collaboration and support of the following wonderful people and organisations:

Niassa Special Reserve

The Niassa Special Reserve is a remarkable wilderness where people and wildlife coexist. The Reserve protects an area the size of Denmark, with stunning landscapes and rich wildlife, including important but threatened populations of elephant, lion and wild dog. It is managed by a partnership between the Mozambican government (Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação) and the Wildlife Conservation Society. We are extremely grateful to the reserve authorities for their kindness and support, with special thanks to the Reserve Warden, Mr Baldeu Chande.

Niassa National Reserve

Mbamba Village community

The honey-hunters of Mbamba Village in the Niassa Special Reserve are half of the mutualism we study, and contribute crucially to our data collection and field experiments. None of it could happen without their cooperation and expertise. We are especially grateful to our leadership team of Iahaia Buanachique, Musaji Muamedi, Carvalho Issa Nanguar, and Seliano Alberto Runcunua, and to the Traditional Chiefs of Mbamba Village for their support.

Niassa Carnivore Project

The Niassa Carnivore Project, directed by Dr Colleen Begg and Keith Begg, is a remarkable conservation project conducted in equal partnership with the Mbamba Village community. Our honeyguide research project is hosted by the Mariri Environmental Centre, where we are especially thankful to Tomas Buruwate, Antonio Chabana, Silto Cristóvão, Celestino Dauda, Ken Harman, Rachide Herculano, Agostinho Jorge, Lurdes Massingue, Andrew Mkanaje, Quiteria Muarapaz, Hugo Pereira and Eusebio Waiti for their support in many ways.

Niassa Carnivore Project

European Research Council

Our research has since 2017 been primarily supported by a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (grant number 725185). We are extremely grateful to the ERC for their generous and crucial support.

European Research Council

We are also grateful to the following funders:

American Ornithological Society  Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour  Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council  British Ecological Society  FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
British Ecological Society

News

Eliupendo Laltaika gives a talk in the Leadership for Conservation in Africa series

Eliupendo Laltaika gave a talk on his career journey and conservation work in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, as part of the Leadership for Conservation in Africa seminar series. Laltaika gives us great insight into his journey from killing wildlife for retaliation as a young man, through to becoming a wildlife ranger, founding a conservation NGO (the Ngorongoro Biodiversity Conservation Project), and currently doing his Masters studies at the University of Cape Town and carrying out research on honeyguide-human mutualism as part of our team.

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Dr Jessica van der Wal gives a talk on honeyguide mutualism research at the African BirdFair

Jessica van der Wal gave a talk on honeyguide-human mutualism as part of a session on research at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, at Birdlife South Africa’s Virtual African Birdfair. Dr Gabriel Jamie gave a talk on mimicry in the parasitic finches of Africa , representing our sister research project on coevolution between brood-parasitic birds and their hosts (more information at www.AfricanCuckoos.com). See also the amazing line-up of other talks at the Virtual African BirdFair – thank you BirdLife South Africa!

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UCT student Rion Cuthill joins us for a week

This week we are joined by Rion Cuthill, a third year student at UCT studying towards a B.Sc. in Ecology and Evolution and Applied Statistics. Rion is helping us to obtain estimates of population sizes of villages in Niassa Special Reserve through remote sensing, an essential parameter to understand the economic value of the honeyguide-human mutualism, and in models trying to understand the variation in honey-hunting cultures. Rion is an avid birder and general naturalist during his spare time.
 

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