Illegal hunting in protected areas of Uganda
Snares are placed on wildlife trails to catch animals like dykers and bushpigs, but chimpanzees get caught too. These traps are seldom deadly for chimps but they hurt badly. The snare tightens around the body part entwined in the metal trap, cutting off circulation and causing the limb to wither and die. Currently 25 to 30% of wounded chimps in Uganda are the victims of snares and most are missing arms or legs.
These injuries also have a serious influence on the social status and mobility of the animal. Animals less able to collect food weaken quicker and get ill easily. Female chimps have trouble caring for their babies. Eventually this leads to a weakening of the chimpanzee population.
JGI’s work to remove snares from the forest
JGI has a team of trained Ugandan trackers for the Snare removal program. Their task is to locate and remove the snares, and to mark on maps via a GPS system areas where poachers are active.
This project also ensures fewer injuries for chimpanzees. By monitoring the routes taken by poachers, the National Forestry Authorities, who are responsible for the law enforcement, can take action against the poachers in a more effective way.
The most successful snare removal program was established by JGI in the Kibale National Park which is home to the biggest population of chimpanzees in Uganda.
JGI also takes care of injured chimps by sending veterinary and caregivers into the forests.
Empowering local communities to protect the environment
The Jane Goodall Institute bases its work on the principle of Community-Centered Conservation. Protection of nature can only lead to sustainable results if projects are conducted by local people. The employees working in the parks come from the surrounding towns and schools teach environmental education.
This helps the community feel responsible for the area, which in turn gives intruders less opportunity to trespass.