KSRP update – Expanding the snare team

Paul, John T., & Robert (from front to back) crossing Mpanga River on a day patrol.

Kibale Snare Removal Project (KSRP) has made many exciting changes in March. First, we have hired a new snare team ranger, Robert. This expands our employment of local Ugandans to five snare team rangers! The four veteran rangers, John O., Paul, John T., and Godfrey, were also granted well-deserved salary increases. With the expansiWith the strength of two snare teams, the patrolled area in March covered most of the chimpanzee research zone and was expanded to include surrounding areas, such as Kanyanchu and Sebitoli, which are also home to large chimpanzee communities. The team members found and removed a total of 22 snares in March. Well-constructed snares can be very inconspicuous and difficult for chimpanzees, especially juveniles, and other animals to detect. Snare removal is therefore a vital component of our conservation efforts at Kanyawara and surrounding areas.on of our snare team, we are now better equipped to split the rangers into two teams, thus covering twice as much area as before.

Foot snare.

Both teams also documented evidence of other illegal activity in the park, such as firewood collection, pole cutting, charcoal burning, and timber collection. The team reported that Piper guineense, a climber species, was cut and harvested, probably for sale in town. P. guineense, a close relative of black pepper, produces fruits that when dried can be used as a spice in cooking. The team also reported that approximately 17 trees were cut and burnt into charcoal in a forested area near the park’s boundary. The snare teams collect data and document all illegal activity in the park. We hope that our presence in the forest may help to discourage these behaviors in the future, but will also use the data to better understand where, when, and why these activities are occurring in the park.

Evidence of charcoal burning with Godfrey (left) and Robert (right).

We would like to thank and acknowledge our funders, Jane Goodall Institute – Netherlands and Austria, for their on-going support and devotion to chimpanzee conservation.

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