Conservation of threatened animals and endangered species. Sustainable management of their forests, seas, grasslands and mountains...
Nicholas Markesini's insight:
-The WWF African Great Ape Programme is working with many partners to conserve remaining chimpanzee populations, especially in West Africa.
-Their approach includes :Establishing, strengthening and managing protected areas in a number of chimpanzee range states such as Tai National Park, Gashaka Gumti National Park, Nigeria, Mengame, Cameroon, and many others.
-Developing chimpanzee-focused ecotourism, e.g.. in Campo Ma'an National Park, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.
-Stopping illegal killing of chimpanzees in logging concessions and looking for solutions to stop the impact of the bushmeat trade on the species.
-As a great ape, chimpanzees are a WWF priority species. WWF treats priority species as one of the most ecologically, economically and/or culturally important species on our planet. As such, we are working to ensure chimpanzees can live and thrive in their natural habitats.
-Buy sustainable wood and paper. By purchasing FSC-certifiedforest products, consumers, retailers, traders, and manufacturers help protect chimpanzee habitat by encouraging sustainable forestry and limiting illegal logging
-The greatest threats to the survival of chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos in Africa are habitat loss and the commercial bushmeat trade.
-Habitat loss is linked to the ever-increasing demands for land by the exploding human population and the commercial demands for natural resources. Africa currently has one of the highest growth rates in the world, with its population doubling every 24 years. And that population requires homes and livelihoods.
-The forests that are chimpanzee habitat are cleared for living space, growing crops and grazing for domestic livestock
-Deforestation drives chimpanzees toward extinction as many populations become too fragmented to be viable.
-The commercial hunting of bushmeat could lead to the extinction of several species, including chimpanzees, gorillas and elephants.
-The bushmeat crisis threatens not only chimpanzees, but also other great apes and many other species that make the African forests their home. As logging roads are cut into previously unreachable areas, the hunting of wildlife for bushmeat – once a practice supporting forest peoples – has become commercial, catering to the tastes of urban dwellers for the "exotic meats" of wild animals.
-This trade in wild animals has also become increasingly international, with reports of chimpanzees, gorillas and other wild African species being consumed in restaurants in North America and Europe.
Chimp Haven is a chimpanzee sanctuary in Keithville, LA, that houses over 100 retired chimpanzees.
Nicholas Markesini's insight:
-Chimpanzees are protected in almost all African countries where they reside, both by local and international laws. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is an international agreement between governments that ensures that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
-CITES legally binds the nations that have signed the agreement, although it does not take the place of existing national laws. By signing CITES, a country limits the import and export of these species.
-Many chimpanzees are found in national parks, but have limited distribution outside those parks. There are efforts in some areas to link segregated populations to one another through the use of corridors. In Bossou, New Guinea there are efforts underway to plant trees to create a forest corridor for the chimps that would link two separate populations of currently segregated chimpanzees.
-In Uganda, gorillas and chimpanzees attract on average 20,000 visitors per year. Permits to visit gorillas (at US$500 per visit) and chimpanzees (at US$ 70) brought in US$ 4.7 million dollars in the year 2007 alone.
Efforts to reintroduce chimpanzees into the wild have met with limited success in the past, although there are some recent successes to celebrate. Project HELP has now reintroduced 37 chimpanzees in the last 15 years. At the current time, 21 of the chimpanzees are still observed.
-All of the factors contributing to the decline of chimpanzees build upon each other and ultimately create a domino effect. Dealing with one factor alone will not be enough to conserve the species.
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