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

New paper on human-honeyguide cooperation and communication

A new study from the Honeyguide Research Project shows that Greater Honeyguides learn the distinct calls that honey-hunters in different parts of Africa use to communicate with them, facilitating cooperation between species. Human honey-hunters signal to honeyguides using specialised calls that vary culturally across Africa. The new study shows using field experiments in Mozambique and Tanzania that honeyguides prefer the specialised calls of the local human culture they interact with, compared to those of a foreign culture. This implies that honeyguides can adjust to human cultural diversity, increasing the benefits of cooperation for both people and birds.

read more