The Sudano-Sahelian Mali once supported a ring system of land and soil management, with permanent croplands near housing compounds, a bush ring with fallow rotations, and an outer forest/savanna ring for grazing. Because of the expansion of permanently cropped fields into the bush ring, the landscape is now sharply dichotomised into the compound and forest/savanna rings. This ring management system features intensified internal recycling of nutrients from the forest/savanna ring to crop fields in the compound ring, supported by an integrated crop-livestock system. This study investigated how the villagers have maintained the crop-livestock integration against various resource constraints. We found that determinants and rationales of the crop cultivation and soil fertility management (SFM) practices commonly observed in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa have not changed. Those SFM practices (manure application from indigenous or improved pens and corralling) are the integration with diversified cattle grazing and transhumance patterns. The locations of watering sources and palatable pasture grasses and the SFM priorities of the cattle herd manager were the primary determinants and rationales of cattle management patterns in the study area. Increasing crop production will likely require exploiting untapped organic resources from peripheral forest/savanna rings and wider use of the improved pen and compost preparation techniques.
We analyzed the long-term changes in the age–sex of chimpanzee captors and the developmental stages (estimated by body size) of the colobus prey. We also analyzed whether any specific male chimpanzees disproportionately contributed to the red colobus hunting over time. The data were obtained from a 46-year observation at Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. In the early stages of this long-term study, only mature and adolescent male chimpanzees hunted red colobus, and these hunts were mostly single-kill episodes. But over time, mature and adolescent female chimpanzees began to participate in red colobus hunts as well, and the number of multiple-kill episodes increased. The developmental stages of the red colobus taken as prey also diversified over time. In particular, the rate of infant prey increased, which suggests that chimpanzees may have developed hunting tactics to counter the antipredator tactics of female colobus that have dependent offspring. Thus, the spread of red colobus hunting appears to have increased the diversity of the age–sex classes of chimpanzees acting as hunters and the range of developmental stages of red colobus taken as prey. No consistent tendency was observed that specific male chimpanzees contributed in red colobus hunting more than others continuously over the years. Nevertheless, male chimpanzees tended to kill the red colobus more frequently when they had the alpha status.
Characterizing the diet of wild chimpanzees is fundamental to understanding ecological variation, flexibility, and adaptation within and among populations. Here, we describe the diet composition of central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in Moukalaba-Doudou National Park, southwestern Gabon. The chimpanzee diet in this area has not previously been described. Based on a macroanalysis of 809 fecal samples and 1,119 minutes of direct observation of their foraging, we showed that they consume fewer insects and more vertebrate prey than those in other study sites. No evidence for the consumption of termites or driver ants was found. Fruits of Ficus spp. was the most frequently identified plant food and appeared in the diet of Moukalaba chimpanzees throughout the year. Chimpanzees at Moukalaba, like at other study sites, exhibit a preference for a small number of fruit species, including Ficus spp., among the foods available at any given period or area while flexibly changing the foods they eat in response to seasonal changes in fruit quantity in the habitat.
The Public Protector (Ombudsman) became the center of attention in South African politics. This research questions whether the Public Protector has played an expected role as an Ombudsman. Despite its importance, there are few studies on the office. This research is the first academic work to evaluate the office’s role both empirically and comprehensively. It analyzes the Public Protector’s activity by using annual and investigation reports released by the office. It finds four points: the successive Public Protectors have strengthened the office’s operational capacity; the Public Protector mainly investigates small, non-political cases; ordinary citizens are the main complainants, except for politician-relating cases, and; while high-profile cases are controversial, the Public Protector success to resolve most cases. In short, while the Public Protector has secured ordinary citizens’ interests, it has failed to correct the allegations of politically high-profile people. Thus, some reforms are required to keep a politically-biased person from office. While the study has some problems due to the issues related to the material on which it is based, this paper would lead to an enhanced understanding of the current South African politics and pave way for future research on the Public Protector.