Monday, July 15, 2019

Chimp&See is back! Chimp&See ist zurück! ¡Chimp&See ha vuelto! Chimp&See est de retour! Chimp&See je zpět!

From African golden cats to zebra duikers, Chimp&See lets you get up close and personal with African wildlife

Have you ever wondered what an elephant gets up to during a typical day? Or maybe what a baboon sounds like? What about the social circles of chimpanzees? If so, then good news – you’re not alone! Thousands of people from all walks of life have come together to form a community at Chimp&See, a citizen science project hosted by Zooniverse where members of the public can volunteer their time to watch, classify, and discuss camera trap videos taken from sites all across Africa as part of the [Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee (PanAf)]( from the [Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology](

 "The growing field of citizen science is centered around the idea that involving the general public in scientific research can potentially produce more accurate data faster than a just few scientists could", says Mimi Arandjelovic, primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "At Chimp&See, citizen scientists can classify videos to tell the official research team which species of animal is present, how many individuals there are, which behaviors they are doing, and, in the case of chimpanzees, identifying the specific individuals who are there." With this information, the research team can determine the habitat distribution of dozens of species, how they interact with one another and answer a myriad of evolutionary, ecological and conservation questions facing African wildlife today.

Citizen scientists can also directly contribute to studying how chimpanzees use tools as well as their social behaviors. If you’re lucky, you can spot a chimpanzee using tools to accomplish tasks like cracking nuts or collecting honey– something that was once thought to be a uniquely human behavior. Given how closely related human beings and chimpanzees are, collecting data like this can help researchers uncover how our ancestors lived, evolved, and became dependent upon tools for survival. "The project also aims to inspire people and organizations to take an interest in learning about and protecting these stunning habitats and the amazing animals that live there", says Hjalmar Kühl, an ecologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv).

Between 2015 and 2018, over 50,000 citizen scientists at Chimp&See classified more than 140,000 videos and contributed to the data that was used in papers on nocturnal chimpanzee activity and ape reactions to camera traps. Starting July 15th, Chimp&See will relaunch on its new platform with over 40,000 videos from two new research sites, with 26 additional sites and hundreds of thousands of more videos planned for the future. We are also super excited to announce that thanks to an amazing team of volunteer translators, will be available in German, Spanish, French and Czech with Italian and Chinese planned for the near future.

If you have never classified animals and their behaviors before, don’t worry! There is a classification guide and an experienced team of moderators to help answer any questions that come up along the way. We want to thank everyone who has contributed so far and look forward to working with our growing community in the years to come! "Chimp&See is a great way for families, classrooms, and individuals to get involved in science", says Arandjelovic. "So, whether you’re curious about what chimpanzees do with their friends, or you want to make meaningful contributions to science, consider joining the Chimp&See community. With so many new videos, you’re sure to find something worth watching."


  • Press release in English
  • Pressemitteilung auf Deutsch
  • Comunicado de prensa en español
  • Communiqué de presse en français
  • Tisková zpráva v češtině
  • Sunday, July 14, 2019

    Chimp&See relaunches July 15th, 2019!

    🐵 On #WorldChimpanzeeDay we are super happy to announce that TOMORROW, July 15th 2019, we are finally relaunching with lots of new upgrades !!!!

     Details to come tomorrow, see you back soon at Chimp&See!

    Thursday, July 11, 2019

    With Heavy Hearts: Rest in Power Dawna Wallis (aka 'Snorticus')

    It is with a very heavy heart that we post today to pay tribute to Dawna Wallis (aka Chimp&See citizen scientist "@Snorticus") who we recently found out passed away on June 13 2019.

    Dawna was one of our long time participants and her enthusiasm and kindness were infectious! In fact, one of our PanAf scientist had even written to her about doing field work as she was so observant and keen at Chimp&See.

    Thank you so much Dawna for all the chimp collages you shared, all the chimps you helped identify, all the great chimp names you gave and all the fun discussions we had about wildlife, you will be so very dearly missed. We wish your family all the best and send our deepest condolences to them.

    Below, a few of the tributes to Dawna we have received:
    "What sad news indeed, and what a shock. Dawna was so helpful to me during my early days with C&S and her sense of humour often made me smile. Please convey my sympathies to her family. "
    -Jane aka @Batfan
    "That is such sad news. Please pass on my condolences and best wishes to Dawna's husband and family."
    -Fiona aka @puddock
     "I'm shocked and very sad. I very much liked Dawna's subtle power of observation, her humor and her entire presence."
    -Lucia aka @Luca-chimp
    "That is so very sad... I don't know what C&S would have done without her contributions, and it definitely would have missed out on many laughs. We were blessed to have her."
    -Kris aka @ksigler
     "Oh my god, I'm so sorry. Dawna always voiced her independent opinion when it came to chimp matching. She did not let other people's opinions take over to what she actually saw. I learned from her lots about how different light, shadows, and colors can make a chimp look like. She discussed again and again how the way a video / image was taken and then presented influences what we believe to see and that you really need to focus on every detail (especially the ears - one of her specialities) and not shrug it off for a seemingly harmonious sum of the parts.
    But most of all, she was an appreciated voice and friend on twitter with opinions about the world - and chimpanzee conservation."
    -Anja aka @AnLand
    "I am so so sorry to read those lines. Deeply shocking and sad indeed.Although I weren't that close with her, she seemed like a very nice person, passionate about everything she worked on."
    -Zuzi aka @yshish
    "It is a shocking and very sad news. I knew her less than others. However, I remember Dawna as such a helpful, and very kind lady.
    She will be deeply missed."
    -Flavie aka @Orohena
    "I am very sad and shocked. I will miss Dawna's smart and friendly nature very much. She also leaves a large gap at Chimp&See."
    -Heike aka @HeikeW
    "I am terribly sorry. I do not know what to say, I am in shock. I am really sorry."
    -Paula aka @PauDG
    "Oh no, this is so sad, I'm deeply shocked! I liked her very much, her humor, her power of observation, her intelligence, her sense of justice, her lovely character. I enjoyed very much to communicate with her also on facebook. I will carry her in my heart."
    -Heidi aka @Boleyn
    “Dear Dawna, you have been a wonderful companion in this amazing journey of species conservation, who always understood the meaning of the words ´team work´. I will be greatly missing you. My thoughts are with your family and friends during this difficult time. See you somewhere, wherever there are animals to protect around <3 “
    -Nuria aka @NuriaM
    "What sad news 😢. I thought I had not seen her around much, but assumed it might be due to her waiting for the relaunch. Thank you for telling me. She will definitely be missed."
    -Laura aka @LauraKLynn 

    Also, a big thank you to our moderator Heidi/@Boleyn for checking in on Dawna when she noticed that Dawna was not commenting anymore at Chimp&See. We are so very grateful to Heidi, and our other mods, for creating such a caring community at Chimp&See and notifying the rest of us of Dawna's passing, as well as collecting the kind thoughts you have read above.

    One of many examples of Dawna's incredible detective work:

    They both have odd 'butterfly' shaped nostrils. Big ears sit high on the head.

    Infant has pale fingers & ear folds in especially big ear, dark line in middle of the curved brows

    Similar profiles, similar shape left ear positioned high on the head:

    long nipple on females & pale fingers on infant

    Friday, June 14, 2019

    Inclusive chimpanzee conservation

    "Thanks to a pair of great primatologists we had the chance to highlight chimpanzee conservation in a recent letter published today in Science. Check out the important discussion about culture, conservation and of course chimps!" - Ammie Kalan

    Read the letter and the PanAf response here:

    Friday, April 26, 2019

    Chimp&See v2.0 update!

    We are almost done incorporating all the comments from Beta Testing into the new Chimp&See!

    For now, when you go to, you will see our place holder page, but we will be back soon, better than ever!

    In the mean time, you can still join us on Talk for chimp matching and other video discussions until we relaunch!

    Thursday, March 14, 2019

    Novelty Response of Wild African Apes to Camera Traps

    Another new paper from Ammie Kalan and collaborators including data from the PanAf and Chimp& See's animal selfie's miniproject!! :) Thanks to all the citizen scientists who helped hashtag camera reaction videos !!!

    Novelty Response of Wild African Apes to Camera Traps (Current Biology)

    And watch some best of videos HERE

    • Bonobos and gorillas had stronger looking impulses compared to chimpanzees
    • Young apes looked longest at camera traps compared to mature individuals
    • Presence of a research site or conspecifics reduced the duration of looking
    • Both social and environmental factors affect great ape curiosity in the wild

    Temperament and personality research in humans and nonhuman animals measures behavioral variation in individual, population, or species-specific traits with implications for survival and fitness, such as social status, foraging, and mating success. Curiosity and risk-taking tendencies have been studied extensively across taxa by measuring boldness and exploration responses to experimental novelty exposure. Here, we conduct a natural field experiment using wildlife monitoring technology to test variation in the reaction of wild great apes (43 groups of naive chimpanzees, bonobos, and western gorillas across 14 field sites in Africa) to a novel object, the camera trap. Bonobo and gorilla groups demonstrated a stronger looking impulse toward the camera trap device compared to chimpanzees, suggesting higher visual attention and curiosity. Bonobos were also more likely to show alarm and other fearful behaviors, although such neophobic (and conversely, neophilic) responses were generally rare. Among all three species, individuals looked at cameras longer when they were young, were associating with fewer individuals, and did not live near a long-term research site. Overall, these findings partially validate results from great ape novelty paradigms in captivity. We further suggest that species-typical leadership styles and social and environmental effects, including familiarity with humans, best explain novelty responses of wild great apes. In sum, this study illustrates the feasibility of large-scale field experiments and the importance of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors in shaping animal curiosity.

    Press release:
    Wild African ape reactions to novel camera traps

    Thursday, March 7, 2019

    Human impact erodes chimpanzee behavioral diversity

    photo: Liran Samuni

    We are so super proud to announce the publication of our latest PanAf paper "Human impact erodes chimpanzee behavioral diversity" We hope it helps spur the call-to-action for conserving chimps and their behaviours across their range! 

    Chimpanzees possess a large number of behavioral and cultural traits among non-human species. The ‘disturbance hypothesis’ predicts that human impact depletes resources and disrupts social learning processes necessary for behavioral and cultural transmission. We used an unprecedented data set of 144 chimpanzee communities, with information on 31 behaviors, to show that chimpanzees inhabiting areas with high human impact have a mean probability of occurrence reduced by 88%, across all behaviors, compared to low impact areas. This behavioral diversity loss was evident irrespective of the grouping or categorization of behaviors. Therefore, human impact may not only be associated with the loss of populations and genetic diversity, but also affects how animals behave. Our results support the view that ‘culturally significant units’ should be integrated into wildlife conservation.

    Kühl HS, Boesch C, Kulik L, Haas F, Arandjelovic M, Dieguez P, Bocksberger G, McElreath MB, Agbor A, Angedakin S, Ayimisin EA, Bailey E, Barubiyo D, Bessone M, Brazzola G, Chancellor R, Cohen H, Coupland C, Danquah E, Deschner T, Diotoh O, Dowd D, Dunn A, Egbe VE, Eshuis H, Fernandez Rumen, Ginath Y, Goedmakers A, Granjon AC, Head J, Hedwig D, Hermans V, Imong I, Jeffery KJ, Jones S, Junker J, Kadam P, Kambere M, Kambi M, Kienast I, Kujirakwinja D, Langergraber K, Lapuente J, Larson B, Lee K, Leinert V, Llana M, Maretti G, Marrocoli S, Mbi TJ, Meier AC, Morgan B, Morgan D, Mulindahabi F, Murai M, Neil E, Niyigaba P, Ormsby LJ, Pacheco L, Piel A, Preece J, Regnaut S, Rundus A, Sanz C, van Schijndel J, Sommer V, Stewart F, Tagg N, Vendras E, Vergnes V, Welsh A, Wessling EG, Willie J, Wittig RM, Yurkiw K, Zuberbuehler K, Kalan AK (2019) Human impact erodes chimpanzee behavioral diversity. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.aau4532


    Video Abstract: