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Free «To Catch a Colobus» Essay Sample

The race between the hunter and the hunted will always most certainly lead to an outcome that affects both parties. The hunter will prey on the hunted for feeding purposes, on the other side the hunted on seeing the hunters have different ways to stage a response. This is always a two-way decision, either to stand and fight to the death or to flee in utter cowardice for their dear lives. To better illustrate this behavior, researchers including Professor Craig B Sanford, have studied the hunting patterns of the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park and Tai forest in Tanzania and Cameroon respectively. Does their hunting behavior defer and what is its impact on the population of the red colobus monkey? Theory based on past studies will therefore be that, during a hunting session, the fate of the colobus lies squarely in the hands of the forest tree cover (Stanford 1998).

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One thing that the chimps of Gombe and Tai have in common is that their hunt will always be a success. This is because the red colobus is always the type that stays and tries to fight back. Though seen as one wrong move, this actually helps to cushion the impact of the hunt. The chimp strategy has traditionally been to approach in a group with the males forming the hunting team. The chimps then strategize themselves in such a way that only a few males climb trees to start the attack. The rest of the family will wait for their share at the bottom. Now the Colobus at this time have their own males who respond to such a move in an attempt of protecting the females and the young ones (Struhsaker 2010). The ground is covered attacking chimps and the distance from a tree to the next making it impossible to make the survivor leap. With nowhere else to run, the colobus must watch in horror as chimps make a meal of most of their members (Mitani 2002).

 
 
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Researchers have indicated that the number of the red colobus that succumb to the chimps in Gombe is fairly higher than that in Tai. This significant difference would have been easier if we found out that African chimps vary in modes of feeding. Could there be a possibility of less or non-omnivorism in Cameroonian than their Tanzanian counterparts? The answer to this leads to a yes-no situation. The only positive argument is based on the fact that the colobus population in Tai is greater than Gombe. On the hand, the negative centers on evidences that exist to show that indeed the colobus monkey is a victim of the chimp in both natural habitats (Boesch 1994).

At this point, we will discuss the correlation between the forest cover in terms of the closeness of the trees and the colobus population. Such is an attempt to determine the likelihood of a massive hunting success staged by the chimps on the reds in both habitats. A forest cover characterizing Gombe shows trees apart from each other making an aerial escape impossible in case of an attack (Stanford et al., 1994). Tai is the vice versa of this with tree forming a sea of green thus making it possible for the monkeys to hide and leap from one tree to the next.

The above finding therefore satisfies the argument basis that indeed the forest cover largely determines the fate of the reds. This follows that while the chimps in Tai find it hard to enjoy a colobus delicacy; their counterparts in Gombe will always take it as a big joke.

   

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