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

Cultural Evolution Society grant awarded to Jessica van der Wal

Jessica van der Wal was awarded a grant from the Cultural Evolution Society Transformation Fund for her project entitled ‘Cultural mosaic of human-honeyguide mutualism’. This will allow her to grow the pan-African collaborative to document Africa’s remaining diversity of endangered honey-hunting cultures with honeyguide birds. Thank you to the CES for this wonderful support! The growing Honey-hunting Research Network currently exists of researchers in Cameroon (Dr Mazi Sandi and Jacob Wandala), Ghana (Wiro-Bless Kamboe), Eswatini (Sanele Nhlabatsi and Dr Celiwe Ngcamphalala), Malawi (George Malembo M’manga), Nigeria (Anap Ishaku Afan), and Tanzania (Eliupendo Alaitetei Laltaika, Amana Kilawi). Other partners in the project are anthropologist Dr Brian Wood and database manager Farisayi Dakwa.

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Out now: two review papers on human-wildlife cooperation

We have just published two review papers on human-wildlife cooperation, in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of 41 scientists, conservationists, and practitioners of human-wildlife cooperation from around the world. These papers were products from discussions started at the Human-Wildlife Mutualism Workshop we organised in January 2021. In “Safeguarding human-wildlife cooperation”, published in Conservation Letters, we review the benefits, threats and unique safeguarding considerations of human-wildlife cooperation. In  “The Ecology and Evolution of Human-Wildlife Cooperation”, published in People and Nature, we provide an overview about what is known about the ecology and evolution of cooperation between humans and wild animals. Abstracts of both papers are available in English, Portuguese, and Kiswahili here. Please also see media coverage from Mongabay, The Conversation, and an interview with Jessica van der Wal in Science.

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Laltaika interviewed by Mongabay

The conservation news website Mongabay interviewed Eliupendo Laltaika, who recently completed his MSc as part of our team, about his research on the ecology and conservation of human-honeyguide mutualism. Laltaika is about to rejoin our team to start his PhD, extending his research on human-honeyguide mutualism in Tanzania.

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