Title

Holistic Approach for Conservation of Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda

Campus

Blue Ridge

Publication date

12-2020

Publisher

University of Chicago Press

Book or Journal Information

Chimpanzee in Context: A Comparative Perspective on Chimpanzee Behavior, Cognition, Conservation, and Welfare - Edited by Lydia Hopper & Stephen Ross

Keywords

chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, conservation, education, snare, poaching

Abstract

Uganda’s Kibale National Park (KNP) contains a diverse primate population, including about 1400 chimpanzees. It is threatened by poaching and illegal deforestation, both of which are promoted by the extreme poverty, exponential population growth, and limited educational opportunities of local people. This chapter describes the Kibale Chimpanzee Project’s multifaceted approach to conservation in this region since 1997, which includes on-the-ground conservation efforts within the park, paired with community outreach and development outside the park to address persistent and evolving human-chimpanzee conflict issues. In the last two decades, the Kibale Snare Removal Program (KSRP) has worked closely with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to deploy more than 5000 KSRP patrols and remove over 8500 snares in KNP, leading to a decline in both the frequency of snare-related chimpanzee injuries and the rate of deforestation at Kanyawara. Concurrently, the Kasiisi Project implemented conservation-based activities in 16 local schools located within 5 km of the park’s boundary. As participation in these activities increased, the project documented positive attitudinal and behavioral shifts in students’, teachers’, and parents’ views of chimpanzees, other wildlife, and the environment. The collaboration between these two projects has shown that long-term chimpanzee conservation can be enhanced by active on-the-ground conservation measures paired with a well-educated population with good environmental knowledge.

Author Biography

Dr. Hartel's current research focuses on chimpanzee and human sympatry and how to balance human population growth and resource demand with chimpanzee conservation in an anthropogenic-dominated landscape. Dr. Hartel began pursing this avenue of research when she was appointed in 2013 as the Director of Conservation for the Kibale Chimpanzee Project (https://kibalechimpanzees.wordpress.com/) in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Initially, she is focusing generally on assessing the major threats to chimpanzee conservation in Uganda (i.e., snaring and deforestation) while working collaboratively with other chimpanzee field projects in Uganda to develop a comprehensive picture that can better mitigate these anthropogenic threats. Dr. Hartel has also established a Chimpanzee Health, Intervention, and Monitoring Program at her field site that adopts a One Health approach to understanding and treating snare injuries and anthropozoonotic disease transmission.

Jess and Chimps_Kibale National Park_Uganda_20111020_574.jpg (1473 kB)
Dr. Hartel following chimpanzee Lanjo

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Holistic Approach for Conservation of Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda

Uganda’s Kibale National Park (KNP) contains a diverse primate population, including about 1400 chimpanzees. It is threatened by poaching and illegal deforestation, both of which are promoted by the extreme poverty, exponential population growth, and limited educational opportunities of local people. This chapter describes the Kibale Chimpanzee Project’s multifaceted approach to conservation in this region since 1997, which includes on-the-ground conservation efforts within the park, paired with community outreach and development outside the park to address persistent and evolving human-chimpanzee conflict issues. In the last two decades, the Kibale Snare Removal Program (KSRP) has worked closely with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to deploy more than 5000 KSRP patrols and remove over 8500 snares in KNP, leading to a decline in both the frequency of snare-related chimpanzee injuries and the rate of deforestation at Kanyawara. Concurrently, the Kasiisi Project implemented conservation-based activities in 16 local schools located within 5 km of the park’s boundary. As participation in these activities increased, the project documented positive attitudinal and behavioral shifts in students’, teachers’, and parents’ views of chimpanzees, other wildlife, and the environment. The collaboration between these two projects has shown that long-term chimpanzee conservation can be enhanced by active on-the-ground conservation measures paired with a well-educated population with good environmental knowledge.