Latin Name: Vitex fischeri
Local Name: Mpapa
Mpapa trees grow in the valleys and lower slopes of Gombe National Park in Tanzania. The trees are tall, up to 70 feet high, and typically possess one straight trunk. The fruiting season usually takes place between late March and the end of April. During a good year, mpapa is one of the most important chimpanzee foods.
An example of tool use, chimpanzees use rocks and sticks as weapons to intimidate and fend off others.
In his latest blog entry, Dr. Deus Mjungu, Gombe Stream Research Center’s director of chimpanzee research, writes of tracking two chimpanzees at Gombe National Park.
Young chimps learn how to use tools from watching and imitating others.
This is the story of Mugu Moja, a juvenile chimpanzee who is getting a fresh start in Uganda’s forest after JGI rescued her from a steel jaw trap. Over the past five years, JGI-Uganda has successfully freed and provided medical attention to 18 chimpanzees injured by steel jaw traps and snares—a 100 percent success rate for each chimpanzee intervention conducted since 2007!
Help Us Save Chimps From These Traps - www.janegoodall.org/snare
Because chimpanzees are so biologically and socially similar to humans, they offer us a great deal of insights into our evolutionary past, as well as into our future. As we observe and document the world of chimpanzees, we learn more about our own behaviors and social patterns, our impact on the ecosystem, and even our ability to spread disease.
10 Things to Know About Chimpanzees
- Chimpanzees are one of our closest living relatives. In fact, humans and chimpanzees share 95 to 98 percent of the same DNA!
- Chimpanzees make and use tools. In fact, they use more tools for more purposes than any other creature except human beings. Visit the video page to watch videos of tool use at Gombe National Park in Tanzania.
Raising awareness is a powerful means
We stand on the threshold of a future without chimpanzees in the wild.
The IUCN/World Conservation Union Red List of Threatened Species says each of the species of African great apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos – as endangered. African apes are largely confined to the relatively intact forests of Equatorial Africa as their last remaining stronghold. Chimpanzees are likely extinct in 4 of their 25 range countries (Gambia, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin).