EAST BAY ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY via Crowdrise
November 19, 2015
BENEFITING: EAST BAY ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Budongo Forest in Uganda teems with life: butterflies, blue monkeys, baboons, hornbills, bushbucks, and around the forest are people. They all want to eat, drink, find shelter, and thrive. Also in the forest are chimpanzees.
Less than 2% of a chimp's DNA is different than ours, and in many ways we are the same. They hang out in troupes, they have hierarchies, they have partners, they raise little ones, they fight - just like us.
Unfortunately, like us, they have challenges. In the Budongo Forest, their main challenge is snares. Tiny, thin snares, set by poachers who are illegally attempting to catch dinner or make money. Chimps are not the target, but they are the by-catch. When a hand or foot gets caught, the snare tightens. They may lose circulation, the limb may be maimed or lost, and the infections sometimes kill them. 30% of the chimps in the Budongo Forest have injuries from these snares.
The solution began in 2001 - in a collaboration between Vernon Reynolds, Dr. Jane Goodall, Fred Babweteera and Oakland Zoo. From this came the Budongo Snare Removal Project.
Snare Removal: Patrol Teams of two men each locate and remove snares within an area of the Budongo Forest Reserve. The six snare removers mark locations with a GPS device and map out strategies and successes.
A Sustainable Alternative: An alternate source of income of three goats is offered 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.
Vet Care: A skilled veterinarian assists with chimp injuries and care for the Ex-Poacher goats.
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.
“The unique opportunity that Oakland Zoo has given us is the long term vision of saving chimpanzees by progressively eliminating the threat of hunting,” said Fred Babweterra of The Budongo Snare Removal Project. “It has been a truly amazing story of a project that simply started as a snare removal campaign but later led to the development of other valuable campaigns including creation of wildlife clubs in schools and provision of nanny goats for the ex-hunters associations. The generous and consistent support from you has created a solid foundation for this programme and there is no doubt that this has been the most successful conservation campaign in the twenty year history of BCFS."