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The Human Threat To Wild Chimpanzees

Tanzania is well known among nations for its commitment to the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat. Tanzania became an independent republic in 1964, when the British protectorate of Tanganyika and Zanzibar united. The founders set aside 25% of the nations' land for conservation. Two national parks that developed from protected areas have extended ongoing field studies of wild chimpanzees: Gombe National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park.

Research began at Gombe when Jane Goodall stepped on to the beach of Lake Tanganyika, July 16th, 1960. Toshisada Nishida and colleagues from the Japanese Primate Research Institute started another study in 1965 in the Mahale Mountains about 100 miles South of Gombe.

From the beginning Dr. Goodall employed Tanzanians as field workers recording the behavior of chimpanzees. Nearly 40 years later, the field research team is made up of third generations of Tanzanians that have monitored the Gombe chimpanzees. The dedication and professionalism of the field research team is another reason the chimpanzees of Gombe are safe from human predators.

Today the threat to chimpanzee populations in the wild, as in captivity, is mostly from humans. Chimpanzees are smuggled out of several African nations for the pet trade, entertainment, biomedical research, and more recently the bush meat trade. Countless chimpanzees loose their homes and their lives to the continuing need for land to grow crops for a growing population of humans. The timber trade and construction of roads to haul timber from the forest has also decimated large areas of forest that were habitats for chimpanzees. The number of fishermen who depend on the waters of Lake Tanganyika for food and a living have multiplied so greatly that 1000 boats now fish where only a handful plied the waters before. Lastly, Gombe chimpanzees are threatened from contagious human diseases.


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Chimpanzee Learning Cards

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ChimpanZoo Learning Cards
1.
Origins and Habitat of Chimpanzees

2.

Chimpanzee Social Groups
3.
Chimpanzees Living in Zoos
4.
Infancy and Childhood
5.
Chimpanzee Adolescence and Gender Specific Roles
6.
The Importance of Mothering
7.
Mothering and Play
8.
Play
9.
Depression
10.
Dominance Displays
11.
Submission
12.
Contact
13.
Grooming
14.
Food
15.
Territorial Behavior
16.
Chimpanzees Are a Lot Like Us
17.
Communication
18.
Chimpanzees Are Individuals
19.
Mike's Ingenious Idea
20.
Mike (1938-1975)
21.
Mike the Alpha Male
22.
The Human Threat to Wild Chimpanzees
23.
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
24.
The Jane Goodall Institute
25. Books by Jane Goodall
26. Bibliography

 

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