Beads for Chimps

Conservation in 

Beads for chimps is a collaboration of Community Action Project and Oakland Zoo, selling beautiful handmade paper beads to raise money for conservation! The beads are made by Community Action Project (CAP), a group of women living in Uganda who make crafts from sustainable materials. Oakland Zoo first met Margaret and the women of CAP when we visited Uganda on an EcoTrip. We were so inspired by their story that we purchased jewelry to be sold in the Oakland Zoo gift shop. Since then the partnership has evolved into a program where zoo guests can stop by a table and make their own jewelry while learning about conservation.

The Conservation Challenge

The Illegal Wildlife Trade

The illegal wildlife trade is one of the top most destructive and illicit transnational crimes of our times, along with drugs, arms and human trafficking. Illegal wildlife trafficking, for the pet industry and for products and souvenirs, has a devastating impact on animal welfare, species conservation, and ecosystems. It is a major cause of species extinction, second only to habitat loss. Ninety percent of animals smuggled for the pet trade die in transit, and those that survive need constant care and attention.

Harvesting of Turtle Eggs

The Pacific leatherback turtle is nearly extinct with only 1,438 mature individuals remaining in the entire Pacific ocean. Despite their endangered status, virtually all sea turtle nests in Guatemala are harvested by poachers and the eggs sold as a supposed aphrodisiac.

Conservation Approach

Beads for chimps helps chimpanzees in many ways. Margaret and her fellow co-workers use recycled magazines and newspapers to make the beads in order to reduce their impact on the environment. An important aspect of the Community Action Project is respecting the environment - they live near Kibale National Park, which boasts the densest population of primates in Africa, as well as many other species of wildlife. Reducing trash and making a statement about recycling and reusing helps all the animals in the area! Most importantly, all of the profits from selling the beads goes directly to the Budongo Snare Removal Project, an Oakland Zoo partner in Uganda that uses innovative community programs to help wild chimpanzees.

Oakland Zoo Takes Action

Oakland Zoo's 2018-2019 Quarters for Conservation Programs

Since 2018, Oakland Zoo has rehabilitated eight orphaned cougars from all over California, all casualties of the human-wildlife conflict.

Through a unique camera trap research program, the Bay Area Puma Project engages and empowers communities to collect critical data, becoming citizen scientists and stewards for cougar survival and human coexistence.

Animals of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala are often poached for the illegal wildlife trade, threatening populations of birds, monkeys and other species.

ARCAS’s new world-class Biodiversity Education Center will provide citizens, tourists and officials the inspiration, knowledge, and tools to protect the Mayan jungle and all of the wildlife that lives there.

For people living near the Kibale Forest of Uganda, resources must be used sustainably for the jungle that chimpanzees call home to survive and flourish.

The New Nature Foundation empowers communities to live sustainably through education, tree planting, biomass briquettes and eco-stove use, ensuring a connected society that celebrates and protects the chimpanzees that live in the Kibale Forest.

You Can Take Action Too

You can stop by the table, located in the rainforest area of the zoo - we are out most weekend afternoons when the weather is nice. You can also buy beads in larger amounts from us, and give them out as party favors, host your own bead bazaar, use them as a classroom activity, or many other possibilities! Contact Adrienne for more details.