Thursday, July 3, 2008
Chimpanzee Conservation in Senegal
Having just arrived back in Senegal from a 2-week trip to the U.S., I attended a meeting of various persons interested in chimp conservation in Senegal. In addition to USAID representatives (they organized the meeting), there were folks from IFAW, Peace Corps and the Jane Goodall Institute (Spain). Some of the issues we discussed were those dealing with chimp-human competition over natural resources (such as Saba fruit), chimp-human conflict (as when chimps steal young goats at the edges of villages), and the increasing human population in southeastern Senegal. Large-scale projects such as gold and other mineral mining in the region as well as a plan to fence off thousands of hectares for a hunting concession could also affect the chimpanzee population. Another meeting is being planned for August and, in the meantime, I am heading off to Fongoli to follow the chimps for several weeks. Updates will follow!