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Saving Chimpanzees in Senegal

Saving Chimpanzees in Senegal

map of Senegal, color coded to note desert conditions

Senegal, on the western coast of Africa, is marked by the rolling sandy plains of the Sahel, which rise into small isolated pockets of forest in the southwestern foothills. The scarcity of water in the dry season creates a serious source of competition between chimpanzees and humans; one that jeopardizes the survival of Western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Estimated at fewer than 500 individuals, Western chimpanzees are considered nearly extinct in Senegal.

In 2002, Friends of Animals funded a 24-month program aimed at protecting the chimpanzees of Senegal. Led by Janis Carter, it provided a rough estimate of the total remaining population, identified critical habitats and factors endangering the survival of the species, as well as detailed information on the ecological needs of and threats to specific populations.

completed well in the Ethiolo village

One practical solution is to allow chimpanzees and other free-living animals access to the natural water source, in exchange for the construction of wells for use by villagers. This helps both chimpanzees and local communities.

With help from the Arcus Foundation, Friends of Animals is planning to construct six wells by 2009. One well has already been completed, providing a much-needed, convenient water source to the village of Ethiolo!

 

 

 

 

Recommended Reading

Success Story: Ethiolo

March 13, 2006

Why Dig Wells?

March 10, 2006

Tama and the Baby

Act•ionLine, Fall 2003

Chimpanzees in Senegal: Neighbors of the Savannah

Act•ionLine, Summer 2003