01/12/2020 in RZSS
Your support has protected the chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest in Uganda for over 15 years, and this year it has meant more than ever. With a loss of income due to travel bans and lockdowns, it is with your help the Budongo Conservation Field Station team have been able to continue to remove snares and traps from the forest, monitor the chimps, and carefully continue community veterinary checks.
Like us, Uganda was in a nationwide lockdown for several months. As well as concerns on how the team were going to fulfil the long-term research activities, they also had to adjust their entire set-up to ensure there was no danger of Covid-19 transmission to the forest’s primate species, including the chimpanzees. To battle this, team members moved into the field centre for months at a time, leaving behind friends and family to do all they could to minimise risk. Not only were they able to continue studies on ornithology, herpetology, primate behaviour and ecology, tree phenology and climatic data collection, the team also managed to implement refresher staff training, roll-out digital field data entry techniques, and renovate several buildings!
The Ugandan team are an inspiration, their dedication and continued positive outlook is amazing. But they still need our help.
With decreased ranger presence, illegal activities in the forest have surged. The number of snares found has increased by 44%, and new pit-sawing and charcoal burning sites have been recorded. In October alone, 115 snares were recovered during 18 days of active patrol and we know several chimps have new injuries and sadly at least one has died.
It costs £145 each month for a field worker at the Budongo Conservation Field Station to protect the forest's endangered chimpanzees. If you can help this Christmas, please give a donation towards this vital work by visiting rzss.org.uk/support