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  • Cited by 3
  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: July 2010

17 - The Green Corridor Project: long-term research and conservation in Bossou, Guinea


The present chapter describes an ongoing reforestation program known as the “Green Corridor Project” that has grown out of 30 years of research into the Bossou chimpanzee community in Guinea. The Green Corridor Project aims to connect two forested habitats of chimpanzees by planting trees in the intervening savanna. The project was started in 1997 and has provided valuable data on reforesting savanna. It has had some success in extending the range of chimpanzees.


Bossou is a village located in the border of Guinea and Liberia, about 1000 km from the capital Conakry. A group of 13 chimpanzees occupies the small forests surrounding the village, into which about 2500 villagers and Liberian and Ivorian refugees are crowded. The core area of the chimpanzees (where they spend most of their time) is about 6 km2, while their total ranging area is about 30 km2. The core area consists of very small portions of primary forest, secondary forest, and riverine forest, surrounded by cultivated fields and savanna.

The Bossou chimpanzees were first described by French and Dutch scientists (Lamotte, 1942; Kortlandt, 1986). Since 1976, Japanese scientists and then an international team (KUPRI International) have been studying the chimpanzees at Bossou (Sugiyama and Koman, 1979; Matsuzawa, 2006a). The chimpanzees at Bossou are well known for their use of stone tools. Using mobile stones as hammers and anvils, they crack open the hard shells of oil-palm nuts to eat the kernels (Matsuzawa, 1994, Fig. 17.1).

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