The Animal Behaviour Research Unit (ABRU) was established in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania, in 1974. ABRU’s research in to the behaviour and ecology of yellow baboons is now into its third decade. It is one of only a handful of long-term primate fields studies, like those of Jane Goodall on chimpanzees or Diane Fossey on gorillas, in the world.
Although ABRU is best known for its primate studies (over 50 scientific papers, 10 PhD, several popular articles and a television programme), it is increasingly involved in ecological monitoring and other conservation and management related work. For example, ABRU is now involved in studies on the African Elephant and the most expensive wood in the world, African Ebony (used for making woodwind instruments). ABRU also supports a number of education and training initiatives promoting wildlife conservation and management as well as the production of Mkata – the newsletter of Mikumi National Park.
ABRU is currently under the direction of Guy Norton, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences, Anglia Polytechnic University (Cambridge, UK). Up to three research assistants and two research rangers are based permanently at the ABRU field station. The stations facilities include accommodation for staff, visiting scholars and research students plus computers, a library and a small laboratory