The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced September 1, 2011, that the agency will begin reviewing the status of chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act. The review process ultimately will determine whether the U.S. government provides the same level of protection for chimpanzees that are captive in the United States as it does for wild chimpanzees.
Below is a statement Dr. Jane Goodall submitted yesterday to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. She urged reauthorization of legislation that would extend federal support for critical great ape conservation projects until the year 2016.
Did you know that there are an estimated 1,000 chimpanzees in biomedical research and testing laboratories or "warehouses" across the U.S.?
Did you know there is some exciting momentum around the issue of chimpanzees used in invasive research?
Best estimates are that more than 1,000 chimpanzees are in labs in the U.S., either being used for painful and terrifying experiments or being warehoused in case they are wanted. One chimpanzee named Karen was taken from the wild as an infant and kept in a lab for more than 50 years.
If you care to learn about this issue and spread the word, here are some other facts to pocket:
Did you know that an estimated 1,000 chimpanzees are caged in 9 biomedical research and testing laboratories or "warehouses" across the U.S.?
That the U.S. is the only country besides Gabon that continues to conduct invasive research on chimpanzees?
Learn about JGI's work in Africa and around the world: chimpanzee behavioral research at Gombe National Park in Tanzania, our Tchimpounga sanctuary for chimp orphans, our work with communities to promote sustainable livelihoods, and our global youth program, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots.
As part of our conservation strategy, the Jane Goodall Institute works with local communities to spread knowledge about sustainable farming and forestry practices. Traditional slash-and-burn practices fragment chimpanzee habitat, lead to dangerous soil erosion on hillsides, and force local women to walk longer and longer distances for fuel wood.
JGI's TACARE program works with villagers to develop sustainable livelihoods and improve health care and education in Kigoma villages. This holistic approach ensures villagers are better-positioned to think about and work towards long-term conservation. One local woman who participated in our family planning programs said: "Thank you for giving me my life."
Chimpanzees face a number of serious threats, including habitat destruction and the illegal poaching of animals for bushmeat. Habitat loss results from commercial logging, slash-and-burn agricultural practices and various mining activities. The Jane Goodall Institute works to eliminate these threats in the fight to save this precious species.