Conservation of chimpanzees and biodiversity in SenegalSenegal
The chimpanzee of Western Africa is in danger of extinction. In Senegal, it is estimated that its population is just 500 individuals.
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The chimpanzee of Western Africa is a sub specie classified in the category of critical danger of extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. In Senegal, it is estimated that its population is 500 individuals, with its main threats being deforestation and fragmentation caused by human activities in this region.
Due to the particularities of this habitat, very vulnerable to climate change and long droughts, chimpanzees have specific environmental adaptations to access limited water and trophic resources in this area. One of the most serious threats faced by chimpanzees is the disappearance of their habitat due to arson that uncontrollably burn their forests for the creation and expansion of crop fields, the creation of pastures for livestock and the improvement of visibility for poachers in access points to water.
Since 2009, the Jane Goodall Institute (IJG) has developed conservation and research programs for wild chimpanzees in the Dindéfélo Community Natural Reserve (southern Senegal), as well as sustainable development projects and environmental education with local communities.
This project will allow the monitoring work and will focus on habitat protection, through the realization and implementation of a plan to prevent forest fires, with the necessary measures, such as the creation of firebreaks and awareness of the local population.
- Daily monitoring and data collection on the ecology and behaviour of chimpanzees and illegal human activities.
- Implementation of measures to protect chimpanzee’s habitat and other species of conservationist interest.
- Preparation of a plan with necessary and priority measures for fire prevention in collaboration with the competent authorities.
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3 communities of chimpanzees (about 60 individuals) of a subspecies critically threatened with extinction (with less than 500 individuals throughout the country) will be protected. In addition, it will contribute to the protection of its habitat in this ecologically vulnerable zone, generating local employment and increasing the ecotouristic value of the region, indirectly benefiting its 7,000 inhabitants.
- Increase knowledge about the ecology and ethology of the chimpanzees of the Dindéfélo Community Natural Reserve and adjacent areas to improve their protection.
- Identify and combat illegal human activities in this area with high interest for the conservation of biodiversity.
- Establish and implement measures to protect the habitat, with special attention to the prevention of forest fires.