Young chimp named Ozzie in the Budongo forest in Uganda

IMAGE: Sian Addison 2019

The Budongo forest, one of the largest tropical rainforests in East Africa, is home to around 600 Eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), an endangered subspecies of the common chimpanzee. Based within the forest is the locally run Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS), established in 1990 and supported by RZSS for two decades, making it our charity's longest project collaboration to date.

Every day, up to 30 members of staff work in the forest. Through their continued presence they discourage illegal activity and spend their time patrolling for snares, monitoring chimp health, and studying the forest’s birds, trees and amphibians.

The vet team treat chimpanzees that fall victim to snares and have saved numerous lives within Budongo forest and elsewhere. Additionally, the team regularly visit local villages where they provide veterinary treatment to livestock, reducing the chances of people hunting in the forest. The team also train national and international vets in emergency wildlife care, particularly for chimpanzees.

The field team’s observations contribute to cutting-edge primatology research through working with national and international researchers hosted at the field station. The Ugandan team publish their own research in primatology journal The Perspectives Collective

Our Partners

Project type

Large-scale initiatives icon

Large-scale intiatives

The team

David Eryenyu

David Eryenyu

Conservation associate

Laura Daniels

Laura Daniels

Assistant conservation project officer

Helen Senn 2024

Dr Helen Senn

Head of conservation and science programmes

Project updates

Date: February 2024

BCFS supported 40 students from Gulu University, Ugandato spend a day doing practical field training sessions in plant taxonomy and mist netting, followed by hearing a chimpanzee talk at the field station. The team also extended invitations to community members in four sub-counties (Nyantonzie, Budongo, Kabango and Nyabyeya) through their leaders to join handcrafting training sessions. It is hoped this offering will help provide additional skills and alternative life skills to forest edge communities, reducing their dependence on the forest for resources. 

Chimpanzee Deli and her baby up in a tree partially obscured by leaves Image: LAURA DANIELS 2023

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