Chimpanzees are humanity's closest living relative, sharing 98% of our DNA. They communicate using a variety of facial expressions, postures and sounds, and are proficient at making and using tools.
However, over the past 30 years, chimpanzee population has plummeted due to poaching, habitat loss, and infectious diseases. As forests are converted to farmland, chopped down for wood, used to extract oil and minerals, or cleared for new roads, chimps are seeing their habitat shrink drastically. Poachers now have access to the once dense forest, making it easier to hunt and kill vulnerable chimpanzees, as well as spread diseases like Ebola. It is estimated that by 2050, chimpanzee population may drop by 50%.
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance:
The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) is the largest association of wildlife centers in Africa, with 22 member organizations in 13 countries. They rescue chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys, give them long-term loving care, and release them to the wild. Furthermore, they work to end illegal wildlife trafficking, the bushmeat trade, and other threats.
The Budongo Snare Removal Project:
The Budongo Snare Removal Project is dedicated to protecting chimpanzees in Uganda while considering the needs of people who share this habitat. Wire snares are a huge threat to chimpanzees in Uganda - 25% of chimpanzees in Uganda have injuries from being caught in wire snares set illegally by poachers when they hunt deer or pig (bush meat). These injuries can lead to infection, disabilities or death. The BSRP takes a three-pronged approach to save Ugandan chimpanzees: (1) employing eco-guards to find and remove snares; (2) leading a school and community education team to bring awareness to the issue; and (3) creating a sustainable alternative source of income and food for ex-poachers sworn to stop setting snares.