On February 22, 2014, the DuMond Conservancy hosted the “African Ape Awareness” community festival. This environmental festival featured Dr. Andrew Halloran and Allison Argo as keynote speakers. Allison Argo is a six-time Emmy documentary filmmaker and Dr. Andrew Halloran is a Lynn University Chimpanzee conservationist.
Other presentations included performances by students from Mays Conservatory of the Arts, and Delou African Dance Ensemble Inc.
The youth at the DuMond Conservancy also put on an African Fashion show by Zabba Designs as well as a drama performance entitled ‘Welcome to the Congo’ by Kaithleen Canoepan.
Vendors like Imperial Roasts brought sever Gourmet Coffees, Teas, Rum Cakes, and Biscottis, which contributed to the theme of the African Ape Awareness Festival. We also had vendors such as the Ceramic League of Miami who brought African art pieces, and the African Violet Society who held a workshop for participants to learn how to care for their plants
The DuMond Conservancy has a rich history of studying primate behavior. Monkey Jungle itself was founded on the basis of studying primate behavior when in 1933 Joseph DuMond released a troop of six Java Macaques onto the dense South Florida Hammock, that we now know as the grounds of Monkey Jungle, with the intention of studying those primates in a naturalistic environment.
Frank DuMond (left) brought new world monkeys to Monkey Jungle with his interest in studying squirrel monkeys and other new world primates in naturalistic conditions, a habitat that closely resembled an Amazonian Rainforest (right).
Now, nearly 80 years later, the DuMond Conservancy continues to celebrate this tradition of studying primate behavior in semi-naturalistic conditions with the colony of approximately 50 owl monkeys, as well as the collection of primates found at Monkey Jungle, including a troop of nearly 150 semi-free ranging macaques that are descendants of the original six, and a group of over 80 semi-free ranging squirrel monkeys. Many research endeavors conducted at the DuMond Conservancy have been published in a variety of Scientific Publications and many students who have conducted research at the DuMond Conservancy have gone on to pursue careers in primatology, academia, and conservation.
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On April 3,2012, Jay Jefferson, Elizabeth Tapanes and Bruce Ramil’s paper on “Anointing in Owl Monkeys” was accepted for the program of the American Society of Primatology meeting in California in June.
The DuMond Conservancy provides specialized education programs in primatology and conservation for middle and high school students and a supplementary education program for developmentally challenged students. Volunteers and interns at the Conservancy play a vital role in the care and conservation of the owl monkeys and in conducting our educational programs.
Research opportunities and internships may be available for Pre-College, Undergraduate, and Graduate field work, using on-site facilities at Monkey Jungle. Research emphasizes behavioral studies of semi-free ranging populations of squirrel, capuchin, and java monkeys, but may also include other areas of interest. Projects that span broad aspects of primate biology, ecology and behavior are encouraged. Veterinary support is available as is access to a primate library. Financial support is rarely available.
Middle and high school students or teachers interested in volunteering, interning, studying or developing programs with the DuMond Conservancy should make an inquiry to our Program Manager via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
University students and investigators interested in research or formal education and training opportunities should make an inquiry directly to Dr. Sian Evans, Managing Director, via email at email@example.com
Motivating Girls in Science: Measuring Monkey Calls on Moonlit Nights is an educatinal program intended to encourage young girls from the community to pursue careers in science.
By the age of 13, girls begin to fall behind boys in science proficiency exams and continue to score lower on standardized testing throughout high school. studies have shown that since social attitudes tend to become fixed during middle school and early high school, girls that develop negative attitudes during this period of development towards science, are unlikely to pursue the academic background necessary for careers in the science filed (Milbourne, 2004).
We are fortunate to have enthusiastic and talented girls join us from three locations: the Girls Scout Troop from Mays Middle School in Goulds, as well as the Haitian Organization of Women and the South Dade Labor Camp, both located in Homestead.
Twelve college students drawn from Florida International University, the University of Miami, and Florida Atlantic University mentored 25 girls. The girls were chauffeur driver from their homes to visit Monkey Jungle during the day and the wonderful Owl Monkeys of the DuMond Conservancy in the evenings. There, the girls prepared and fed the Owl Monkeys and then waited patiently as dusk fell. They then measured the fading light, noting when the monkeys would wake up, and recorded the excited vocalizations the monkeys made as they enjoyed their fruit, salad, and monkey biscuit feast.
Special thanks to our sponsors:
The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade County
The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade County
Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida, Inc.
The DuMond Conservancy has produced and distributed educational back packs. These backpacks are intended to educate students (target age 10-15 years) about Primate Biology with an emphasis on Conservation. Included in the backpack are posters, unique educational games, primate plush toys, tape recorders and audiocassettes of primate vocalisations and a primate “lunch box”. The backpacks are available in English, French and Spanish and some have already been distributed to educational facilities in South America and Africa.