Tolerance for inequity increases with social closeness in chimpanzees by Dr SF Brosnan, Dr HC Schiff and Dr FBM de Waal
The evolution of the sense of fairness may have involved the strength of social connections, according to researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta. Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal observed variability in chimpanzees' responses to inequity depending on the strength of their social relationships. Chimpanzees in a close, long-term social group were less likely to react to unfair situations than were chimpanzees in short-term social groups. This is the first demonstration that reactions to inequity in nonhuman primates parallel the variation in the human response to unfair situations that is based on the quality of the relationship.
Contact: Dr Sarah Brosnan, Yerkes National Primate Research Centre, Emory University, 954 N Gatewood Drive, ATLANTA, GA 30329, United States
A bioeconomic analysis of bushmeat hunting by Dr R Damania, Dr EJ Milner-Gulland and Dr DJ Crookes
Unsustainable hunting of wildlife for food (bushmeat hunting) is a major conservation issue. Bushmeat hunting must be tackled in the context of a household's broader livelihood activities if interventions are to be effective. We present the first formal model of bushmeat hunting as a component of the household economy. Increasing bushmeat prices shifts effort into hunting with the most efficient technology (guns), and unsurprisingly leads to population depletion. But improved agricultural incomes can also have the undesirable side-effect of shifting hunting pressure from snares to guns, and hence may worsen the status of vulnerable animals which are predominately gun-hunted (such as primates).
Contact: Dr Eleanor Milner-Gulland, Department of Environmental Science & Technology, Manor House, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY
Contact: Tim Watson