An important goal for the Kibale Chimpanzee Project (KCP) is to reach out to local communities to share what we are learning about chimpanzees and to increase awareness about the conservation threats that chimpanzees are facing, both in Kibale and elsewhere in Africa.
At the end of September, members of the KCP team visited local primary schools to talk with students involved in Wildlife Clubs, which are extracurricular groups that participate in various environmental activities (click here for more information about these activities).
In his presentation, KCP photographer Andrew Bernard explained what it was like to observe chimpanzees in the wild and discussed the basics of chimpanzee social behavior, emphasizing chimpanzees’ similarity to humans and why they are in need of protection. Representatives from the Kibale Snare Removal Program (KSRP) talked about how illegal snare traps – even those meant to capture animals like bushpigs – can severely harm chimpanzees and how their daily patrol work helps to rid the park of these dangers.
Wildlife Club members showed great interest in these presentations and asked many good questions. It was also an excellent opportunity for students to interact with local role models who work in the field of conservation. We look forward to working with these groups again on future educational projects.