Descriptions & Plan
Humans remain a threat to chimps.
The 60,000-square-kilometer Bili-Uélé Domaine de Chasse is the largest protected area in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and encompasses two unique eco-regions (savanna to the north and forests to the south) that harbor high levels of biodiversity, including the last remaining continuous population of the eastern chimpanzee.
The region faces a series of very invasive threats that are aggravated by a lack of resources for the country’s wildlife authority. While human impacts were limited until recently due to inaccessibility, this is no longer the case. Pastoralists are immigrating and settling, artisanal mining is thriving, and poaching for bushmeat continues.
Surveys will help direct future conservation efforts.
As a first step, African Wildlife Foundation has provided Max Planck Institute Primatologist Cleve Hicks with US$15,000 to undertake a chimpanzee survey in the Bili-Uélé Domaine de Chasse. This project will more precisely identify the distribution and numbers of chimpanzee as well as the range of threats to this species and the forest habitat. These insights will be invaluable for AWF and others in developing an effective strategy and specific activities for conserving the chimpanzee, which will, undoubtedly, include anti-poaching support, among other efforts.