ChimpanZoo was established in
1984 as a collective effort between the Jane Goodall Institute,
zoological facilities and universities. Our mission is to apply
uniform research methods to learn more about chimpanzees and their
psychological and behavioral responses to a captive environment.
The program began by linking five zoos and the Central Washington
University Language Laboratory, home to the study of chimpanzee
communication through the use of American Sign Language (ASL).
As of 1990, 12 zoological facilities were starting programs and
becoming contributing members of the Jane Goodall Institute ChimpanZoo
A standardized research procedure
was successfully developed and the methodology for the ChimpanZoo
data collection system was tested in several different environments
with modifications made to achieve the highest quality of data.
Each member facility established a ChimpanZoo "team"
that consisted of volunteers, zoo administrators, and students.
Academic advisors supervise the program to ensure the integrity
of the ChimpanZoo methodology and the reliability of data collection.
The resulting ChimpanZoo academic applications serve to improve
our understanding of higher apes (including humans) in captive
environments and help promote psychological well-being through
The current communication network
between ChimpanZoo central and participating facilities is conducted
through several methods: newsletters, program reports, monthly
reports, site visits and annual conferences. Annual ChimpanZoo
conferences provide a forum for representatives from various zoos
and universities to become informed of the latest primate research
--Dr. Virginia Landau,
Director of ChimpanZoo
Vice President, The Jane Goodall Institute