About the Organization
Chimpanzee populations are currently found in 22 forested blocks along the western border of Uganda. Of these areas, six hold more than 75 percent of the
total population of chimpanzees in the country. These areas include the Budongo Forest Reserve, Bugoma Forest Reserve, Kibale National Park, Kasyoha-Kitomi
Forest Reserve, Maramagambo Forest and Kalinzu Forest Reserve. These six forests collectively house an estimated 3,300 chimpanzees.
In January 2000, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) in collaboration with the Budongo Forest Project (BFP) initiated a snare removal program in the Budongo
Forest Reserve in Uganda. The objective wasto reduce the number of snares being set as well as the number of animals being caught in them. The Project
also sought to increase public awareness regarding this issue, ensuring that more local people would obey wildlife laws and understand the need for
protecting wildlife. Watch the KQED sponsored short video
about Oakland Zoo’s involvement in the Budongo Snare Removal Project.
The Conservation Challenge
Unfortunately, Uganda faces a crisis that many African countries share: the Bushmeat issue. Bushmeat is the term used for illegally hunted exotic animals
killed for food. The poaching of bushmeat is sometimes done for sustenance, but more often it simply fuels a growing taste for exotic animals in restaurants.
Snares used to trap these animals are causing injury and death to all kinds of species, including chimpanzees. Snares are wire loops designed to catch
animals around the neck. As the animal struggles, the snare tightens. In an attempt to escape, many animals maim limbs that have been caught in these
Research and Habitat Preservation
It is estimated that 25% of chimpanzees in Uganda have injuries from being caught in snares, so this project, which directly benefits forest wildlife,
is critically important. Using two-man teams to locate and remove snares the number of snares being set within the research area have dropped. The
census teams found that heavy poaching was being carried out in the southern end of the forest reserve, so the BSRP extended their range. The staff
also monitors a small group of chimpanzees in the remnant forest patch called Kasokwa Central Forest Reserve.
Providing a Sustainable Alternative
An alternate source of income is provided to locals by BSRP’s gifting of three goats to individuals sworn to discontinue poaching. With annual breeding,
these goats provide milk and food to their owners and prove a more profitable trade to former poachers.
Outreach and Education
Building public understanding about chimpanzees is a key focus of BSRP. From school programs, to community meetings, presentations, tracking classes, group
hikes, citizen science, and online experiences, the Budongo Snare Removal Project aims to inform and enlighten.
Oakland Zoo Takes Action
As the sole-funder of BSRP, the Zoo raises funds through various means including an annual lecture every September. Our support funds salaries for
four field assistants, two educators, two eco-guards, allowances for transportation and bike repair, and necessary gear. We undertook funding of
the project in the 2001-2002 fiscal year and have made a commitment to continue our support.
Outreach and Education
The Zoo aims to use our immense access to the public to help wildlife, like the chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest through varied platforms. Information
about the project is included in special event days, docent tours, classes and lectures.
Funds raised at our enlightening and informative annual benefit event every fall go directly to the project.
You Can Take Action Too
- Join us for our annual primate-themed Conservation Speaker Series event which benefits chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest.
- Please make a donation to the Budongo Snare Removal Project by contacting Amy Gotliffe at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Purchase Kibale Beads from Oakland Zoo's Beads For Chimps station.
- For more information, go to: www.budongo.org