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

Laltaika honoured as a Top 100 Young African Conservation Leader

Wonderful news: Eliupendo Alaitetei Laltaika has been selected for the inaugural Top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders list announced today, celebrating those whose work “promises to leave a lasting impression in the African conservation landscape”. Congratulations, Laltaika – we’re proud to be your colleagues!

Laltaika’s citation reads, “A lion hunter as a young pastoralist turned conservationist, Eliupendo now protects the endangered rhino population of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area as a Park Ranger. He has rescued 20 wild dogs from retaliation, killing and planted over 30,000 plants via conservation clubs. He is also researching the extraordinary cooperative relationship between honeyguide birds and human honey hunters. He founded the Ngorongoro Biodiversity Conservation Project.”

Please visit https://top100youth.africa to meet 99 other inspiring young conservation leaders from throughout the continent.

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Workshop on “Human-Wildlife Mutualisms”

Together with Natalie Uomini at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, we hosted a two-day online workshop on “Human-Wildlife Mutualisms”. We were joined by 40 colleagues from 14 countries to share experiences and findings, and improve our understanding of what is known about these unique partnerships. We were delighted to meet colleagues with shared interests including anthropologists, historians, conservation practitioners, and honey-hunters, as well as fellow biologists such as our colleagues in Brazil who study the fascinating cooperative partnership between fishers and bottlenose dolphins. David, Dom, Jessica, Laltaika and Claire all presented talks on our honeyguide research in Mozambique and Tanzania, as did our close collaborators Brian Wood and Anne Kandler. Several additional honey-hunter colleagues and a fisher from Brazil participated via subtitled videos.

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David returns to Niassa

David Lloyd-Jones was reunited with our main study population of honeyguides, and colleagues in the field at the Mariri Environmental Centre in the Niassa Special Reserve, when a brief visit to Mozambique became possible. After a three-day motorbike ride from his home base in Tanzania, David met with our honey-hunter colleagues and repaired their equipment, and checked in our study area which was looking lush and green in the early rainy season. This is a time of year when food supplies are low in the village, and many of our honey-hunter colleagues are busy tending to their crops whilst only going on the occasional honey-hunt.

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