Tag - Chimpanzee

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Researchers are adopting an evolutionary approach to understanding human and animal cognition
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A group of chimpanzees released on Tchindzoulou Island
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"In Spain there are farms where monkeys are bred in very bad conditions"
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The presence of the chimpanzee in Senegal
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Worldcoo has a new project!

Researchers are adopting an evolutionary approach to understanding human and animal cognition

Nowadays we all agree that chimps, cats, parrots, dolphins, and dogs have surprisingly smart and emotionally rich minds, but it’s not always been this way.

Virginia Morell’s last post in Slate.com explains how the human understanding about animals cognition shifted to a Darwinian approach. As she coments:

“Darwin argued that animals and humans differ in their mental abilities only in degree, not kind. He was certain that animals would share some of our talents for reason, memory, and language, and would even possess an aesthetic sense. Because all of these talents are tied to our biology, Darwin said that they had not appeared out of nowhere; that they are just as much the products of evolution by natural selection as are our bipedal stance and large brain.”

In the article she summarizes the approach shift into: “Scientists no longer ask, Do animals think? Instead, they want to know, How do animals think?

To go deeper into the matter check the latest Virginia Morell book: Animal Wise or start with the amazing The Descent Of Man from Charles Darwin.

A group of chimpanzees released on Tchindzoulou Island

It’s been 20 years since the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center (TCRC) opened in the Republic of Congo. Dr. Jane Goodall founded the sanctuary to provide care and hope to the chimpanzee victims of the illegal commercial bush meat and pet trades. Today, many of the chimpanzee residents are adults who need to explore and expand their horizons beyond the boundaries of the existing facility. Recognizing this need, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) put a great deal of effort into creating a more natural environment for the Tchimpounga chimpanzees.

On September 20, 2012, after years of hard work and preparation, two female chimpanzees, Kudia and Vitika, were transferred from TCRC to JGI’s newly expanded sanctuary site on Tchindzoulou Island in the nearby Kouilou River. This wild place, composed of hundreds of hectares of tropical forest surrounded by river water, will be their new home.

A group of caregivers and veterinarians were in charge of bringing the chimpanzees to their new emplacement and all worked in the right way. It was the first time a group of chimpanzees released on Tchindzoulou Island.

Jane Goodall Institute publishes the amazing story about this trip.

For many years, the idea of transferring Tchimpounga’s chimps to a more natural environment has been a hope of everyone at JGI. Now, it has finally become a reality.

Source: Jane Goodall Institute

"In Spain there are farms where monkeys are bred in very bad conditions"

Jane Goodall, primatologist and ethologist, criticizes the use of animals in biomedical research after receiving the Parliamentary Association Award in Defence of Animals (APDDA) in Madrid, Spain.

When Jane Goodall was two years old received a stuffed chimpanzee as a birthday gift, from her father. That, was probably his first contact with the species and the beginning of a long friendship and care that lasts to the nearly 80 years she has today. The researcher is known for her studies on the interaction of wild chimpanzees in Gomba National Park in Tanzania, and for being a great defender of them. She is already Messenger of Peace United Nations, Prince of Asturias Award for Research, and now she also was given the Parliamentary Association Award in Defence of Animals (APDDA).

She has a serene and peaceful face, the kind that only transmits peace. But her gaze hardens when speaking of the treatment given to humans and animals, especially the apes. “It is a question about the no empathy we have with them. We share so many things with them, like the DNA and a similar brain structure. But we fail to see their suffering, what they are afraid of, that they become stressed and depressed just like us”. Dr. Goodall considers that there have been advances to protect animals, but there are still spaces as is their use in medical research: “fifty years ago the doctors had no alternative, but now there are”.

According to Dr. Goodall, poverty is the root cause of the losing of biodiversity. “When you’re too poor, you are desperate to eat, so we have to get first to the people of this state”. This has initiated several projects to educate people in Africa on the preservation of biodiversity, like the one they have just presented in Worldcoo. “We train people in land management and to monitor forests. But also we taught women to family planning and give them scholarships to go to school”.

Source: El País.

The presence of the chimpanzee in Senegal

“The presence of the chimpanzee in Senegal is strategic to secure its northernmost habitat, and it is also crucial to protect and restore if necessary the UICN’s priority area for chimpanzee conservation of the Fouta Jallon in Guinea”, reports Jane Goodall Institute NGO. The main threats faced by the chimpanzee in this territory are: deforestation and habitat degradation by human activities on top of logging (agriculture, farming, wild fruit gathering, and pollution of water courses).

The Jane Goodall Institute reports that the subspecies Pan Troglodytes Verus (West African Chimpanzee) is endangered in the region and presents reduced numbers in Senegal (ranging between 200 and 500 individuals), while numbers in Guinea are higher (between 17 and 22,000 individuals, UICN, 2004) although with an extremely high fragmentation of the habitat. JGI also appoints: “It is crucial to protect and restore if necessary the UICN’s priority area for chimpanzee conservation of the Fouta Jallon in Guinea”.

The Fouta is not only home to the biggest population of chimps in West Africa, it is also considered the water tower of the region. The three main rivers in the region have its source on the Fouta Jallon massif: the Gambia, the Senegal and the Niger River, providing the water needed in many countries from Mauritania to Nigeria that allows the subsistence of millions of Africans. “Protecting the Fouta’s forests is without doubt the most urgent priority in terms of human subsistence and biodiversity conservation in the region”, reports the JGI. Among other important species, “chimpanzee’s survival is especially critical due to several reasons”. To start with, chimpanzees attract tourism, which is an essential activity to improve life standards for the communities in the long term. Secondly, chimpanzees are one of the best indicators of the conservation status of the forests and the ecosystem in general. Finally, the Dindefelo’s Community Reserve, a protected area managed by the local population, is becoming one of the most important centers for nature research in the region and that will enhance the arrival of professors and students which will increase local capacities for better management of the environment. The Jane Goodall Institute concludes that “the recently created (2010) 13300 ha Community Reserve of Dindefelo, and its future cross border enlargement to reach around 74,000 ha on the Guinean side will help achieve both goals, for chimpanzee conservation and ecosystem protection and restoration”.

Source: Jane Goodall Institute.

Worldcoo has a new project!

Worldcoo presents today a new project from the Jane Goodall Institute. This is the first project that comes out of the recent collaboration between Worldcoo and the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD).

“Solar equipment for the Agroforestry School of the Dindefelo Community” is the new Worldcoo’s project, from the Jane Goodall Institute. The main goal of this project is to improve agroforestry management skills among local communities. There is a school, located at the Dindefelo’s Natural Reserve, southeast of Senegal, managed by the local community, which wants to become a reference in West Africa for biodiversity, agroforestry and natural resource management, and food security improvement. Jane Goodall Institute wishes that this centre will contribute to the endangered chimpanzees’ survival in the region.

This project is part for another already started project. The main one seeks to achieve two different goals:
1) Building the research and training facilities, and
2) Equipping them with the basic equipment to function.

The first goal is already fund, and the organization hopes it will be accomplished by the month of April 2013. What they are presenting in Worldcoo is the funding they need to accomplish the second one, equally important but not funded yet. To make it possible, solar panels are the first priority to allow setting up a regular calendar of trainings and classes with all guarantees.

The primatologist Jane Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977, as a global non-profit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. Their work builds on Dr. Goodall’s scientific work and her humanitarian vision, specifically all related in understanding and treatment of apes through research, public education and advocacy.

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