In Uganda’s Hoima District, 300 chimpanzees (including the Bulindi community) cling to survival in the face of enormous pressure from their human neighbours. Monitoring these chimpanzees is essential for their health and survival.
As well as our long-term monitoring of the Bulindi chimpanzee community, this year we started monitoring two other chimp communities in Hoima and we aim to begin monitoring a fourth community later this year.
As volunteer Field Operations Manager, Georgia says: “Chimpanzee monitoring isn't easy! It requires basic tracking knowledge, a good understanding of chimpanzee behaviour, and a lot of patience. Our chimpanzee monitors are in constant contact with local villagers and often have to act as ambassadors for the chimpanzees as well. At BCCP we believe in strengthening the skills and abilities of field staff through capacity building. Our tiered training program not only provides junior staff with the necessary tools to perform in a complex social and ecological landscape, it also encourages senior monitors to develop strong leadership skills.”
These images show Vincent (who monitors the Wagaisa chimpanzee community) mentoring our newest chimpanzee monitor, Isaac.
Wild chimpanzees are blissfully unaware of birthdays.
But we at least welcomed the birthdays of two of the group's infants, Maria and Lucia (born to mothers Mirinda and Maureen, respectively), who both turned two years old last week.
Infant mortality is generally high in wild chimpanzees. Indeed, a third infant (Kasatu) born to Jemima during the same week in April 2016, sadly died in February during a flu outbreak among the chimps. So, it's a relief to see Maria and Lucia make it into their third year, healthy and developing into unique little characters. We hope we'll be able to celebrate their birthdays for many years to come!