All of the great apes build nests, but captive chimpanzees rarely have vegetation from which to build nests. The forested environment at Chimp Haven does allow captive chimpanzees to build nests of natural vegetation. Between February 2007 and December 2010, 238 nests were found in 2 forested habitats. Nests were made of naturally available vegetation, and more nests were made on the ground than in the trees (Z = 7.27, p < 0.001); nests were also built in the interior forest rather than on the periphery (Z = 7.06, p < 0.001). There was no correlation between the number of months in the habitat and the nests built per chimpanzee (rs = -0.07, p = 0.52). More nests were observed when more wild-born females were in the group (rs = 0.27, p = 0.01), and during warmer temperatures (rs = 0.45, p < 0.001). These findings support the goal of naturalistic environments in suitable climates for captive chimpanzees.

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