Tragically, the plight of Africa’s chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, and bonobos is more desperate than ever.
• Wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest criminal enterprise in the world, behind drugs, counterfeiting, and human trafficking.
• Recent research found that about 60% of primate species are now threatened with extinction, and 75% are in decline.
• It's expected that within 13 years, 90% of great ape habitat will be damaged in some way by humans.
However, the news isn’t all bleak. Because of your support, the 22 organizations that are members of PASA are leading an effort throughout Africa to protect the remaining wild primates as well as their rapidly disappearing habitat. They have spent decades working year-round in Africa to protect wildlife, and have developed strong collaborative relationships with government agencies and local communities. They use these relationships to create long-term changes that are helping to save our closest relatives from extinction.
• 13 PASA member organizations regularly send forest patrols into crucial wildlife habitat in 10 African countries. These ecoguards put their lives on the line to arrest smugglers and remove cruel traps and snares.
• PASA members in 7 countries have successfully worked with governments to create new national parks and other protected areas.
• Since lack of law enforcement is a widespread problem in Africa, 17 PASA member organizations in 13 countries are lobbying for better protection of wild primates and their habitat. 9 organizations have successfully backed stronger habitat protection laws.
• 15 PASA member wildlife centers are conducting reforestation projects in wildlife habitat.
We can’t stand by while some of the most intelligent species on earth are hunted and trafficked to extinction.
PASA member wildlife centers are leading an effort to save numerous primate species from disappearing forever. You can join the movement – please donate now.
We don’t have any time to spare. Without your support, I worry that soon it will be too late to save chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and many monkey species from extinction.
Protecting primates together,
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance
PS: We urgently need support we can depend on to expand our programs. Please give today.
African elephants have faced a devastating surge in poaching in the past decade. Ivory prices reached $1,000 per pound on the Chinese market in 2012 as reports emerged of militant groups in Africa conducting mass elephant slaughters to fund their operations.
The African elephant population plummeted an estimated 30%. Conservation groups worldwide have been scrambling to get the message out.
I’m happy to tell you that the combined global efforts have paid off. China, which is responsible for purchasing 70% of the world’s ivory, recently committed to shutting down its domestic ivory trade. China pledged to close dozens of its 34 licensed carving factories and 143 retailers in March 2017, and to shut down all of them and ban the commercial processing and sale of modern ivory by the end of 2017.
We hope this will enable the dwindling elephant population to bounce back. Read more about this in PASA’s Latest News.
China Is a Hub of Great Ape Trafficking
The proliferation of small, unaccredited zoos in China has created a new demand for wildlife to fill their cages and enclosures, which has driven prices to shocking heights. It’s likely that thousands of great apes have been smuggled to China for this purpose. Infant chimpanzees have been trafficked to China for as much as $25,000 and gorillas for $40,000. In addition to being sold to zoos, these animals become victims of the illegal pet trade and the entertainment industry. China might be the most important country for wildlife protection.
China’s use of great apes in entertainment is particularly disturbing. The incredibly popular reality TV show “Wonderful Friends” paired celebrities with wildlife in unnatural and sometimes dangerous situations. This perpetuates the belief that great apes are suitable pets, rather than wild animals urgently in need of protection. Thanks to international backlash, there will not be a second season of the show.
An estimated 3,000 great apes disappear from the wild every year.
Yet apes aren’t in the headlines like elephants and rhinos are. Sometimes they almost seem to be forgotten. Together, we can change this.
Now that China has made a monumental decision to protect an iconic African species, this is the perfect time to intensify PASA’s campaign to raise awareness about the desperate plight of Africa’s primates. Rising international pressure can encourage the Chinese government, as well as other governments, to crack down on the trafficking of great apes.
Our campaign is only as strong as the people who support it.
Africa’s endangered primates urgently need you. Make your voice heard by donating today.
With your contribution to PASA, you will be a part of the global movement to bring primate conservation to the forefront and make change happen.
Time is running out. Please donate now to save our closest relatives from extinction.
All best wishes,
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance
P.S. The great apes are depending on YOU.
The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA)'s 22 member wildlife centers in 13 African countries are known for rescuing great apes and monkeys and providing lifelong care. But these centers also have vital roles in the conservation of natural habitat and working with local communities.
Conserving Natural Habitat
PASA member wildlife centers protect critically threatened wildlife habitat.
Loss of habitat, as well as fragmentation and degradation of habitat, are severe threats to the survival of Africa’s great apes, all of whom are endangered, as well as many species of monkey.
The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance’s member wildlife centers across Africa collaborate with their governments to protect vast tracts of critically threatened natural habitat across Africa. They also work to increase the amount of protected primate habitat – almost half of PASA members have successfully helped to establish new legally protected areas. This is essential to protect humanity’s nearest relatives from extinction in the long term. The centers’ close relationships with government agencies and their knowledge of local cultures is essential for them to succeed in these collaborations.
Empowering Communities: Education and community development
The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance’s wildlife centers conduct public education and outreach programs in schools, in communities, and at their centers, across 13 African countries. Topics include conservation, animal welfare, and the impact of their actions on their environment. By reaching out to local children and their parents, we empower communities to value and protect local wildlife and their habitats, making a long-term impact on the conservation of wildlife.
Together, PASA wildlife centers educate more than 500,000 children and adults every year about the importance of wildlife and the natural environment.
Nearly half of PASA members conduct community development projects which have the goal of reducing the exploitation of forests, wildlife, and other natural resources. These programs are diverse in order to address the resource and limitations of each community. They include building schools and health posts and providing clean water and efficient wood stoves. The centers also give training in alternative livelihoods to uplift communities near wildlife habitat and enable them to earn a living without illegally hunting wildlife or stealing resources from protected forests.
Additionally, the wildlife centers employ more than 500 people in Africa and generate over US$5 million every year in local economies.
The wildlife centers can’t continue these programs without you. Will you make it possible for African communities to live without destroying great ape habitat?
Dear Primate Supporter,
Although great apes are humans’ closest genetic kin, humans have pushed them to the brink of extinction. It’s estimated that 3,000 apes are lost from the wild every year, largely due to the illegal hunting of endangered species, the illicit wildlife trade, and widespread habitat loss.
Will we let the great apes become extinct in our lifetime? As primate advocates, we can’t allow it. With your help sharing our message, they do have a chance.
PASA is working closely with our 22 member organizations in 13 African countries to implement diverse projects to protect primates and their habitat. Some of the most pioneering work is community development projects that give local people alternatives to cutting down forest or hunting apes and monkeys.
Bo is an adorable baby chimpanzee in Guinea-Bissau who was illegally stolen from the forest last year. The law authorities confiscated little Bo but they don’t have facilities to take care of her. She’s now living in a national park office and eating whatever people happen to feed her.
Bo urgently needs to be moved to a proper sanctuary and PASA and Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya are working to arrange an export permit. We hope that soon, Bo will spend the rest of her days living in a huge forest habitat with dozens of other chimps.
As a registered nonprofit in the U.S. with close partnerships with wildlife protection organizations across Africa, PASA provides a trusted way to ensure your donations go where they are most urgently needed and are used as efficiently as possible.
Thank you for your compassion.
Our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom are suffering? Don't turn your back on Africa's primates!
African wildlife law enforcement continues to combat illegal primate trade daily, but still Africa's primates are in danger. The population is rapidly disappearing. Habitat destruction for palm oil, mining, logging, oil development, human settlement and agriculture are consuming the remaining primate habitat at an alarming rate. Primates are commonly hunted for bushmeat or for the pet or commercial trades. Unless behaviors change, we could lose our closest relatives –chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas – as well as the rich diversity of African monkey species within a few generations.
PASA in ACTION
In recent months, PASA affiliates have gotten involved in a number of primate rescue missions across Africa.
For the past several years, Ponso, an adult male chimpanzee has been stranded – deserted on an almost uninhabitable mangrove island in Liberia – in an environment that could not provide fresh drinking water or any naturally occurring food. To make matters worse, Ponso, is one of the sixty-six captive chimpanzees remaining from what was the New York Blood Center’s biomedical research development in Liberia. Ponso watched his mate and offspring, along with 18 other chimpanzee companions and their children, die of starvation on the same island that he still sits upon. Finally, there is hope for Ponso’s rescue. Estelle Raballand, the director of the Chimpanzee Conservation Center in Guinea, recently visited the island to check up on the poor chimp. To her surprise, she was greeted with a gentle, but genuine hug from the Ponso himself. Despite years of having harsh experiments conducted on him, and being subjected to abuse and starvation by his human captors of the New York Blood Center, Ponso could still express compassion for Estelle, his human defender. The Chimpanzee Conservation Center as well as many other PASA members have offered Ponso sanctuary. The PASA network is doing everything possible to ensure that the proper permits are obtained to guarantee Ponso safe passage to his new home.
PASA member Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary received a very young chimpanzee they named Matilda early this year. They suspect she was orphaned because of bushmeat hunting or human-wildlife conflicts. Matilda is only around 3.5 month old. She had a bad cough and was breathing heavy upon arrival, but has been eating well. She is now being looked after by her surrogate mother and receiving all the care that she needs. "It is concerning that the bushmeat hunting seems to have started increasing again after the Ebola crisis. We have to keep reminding people of the dangers of eating primates!” says Tacugama conservationist.
In Guinea-Bissau, Bo a wild baby chimpanzee was illegally stolen from the forest last year. After Bo was confiscated by the local authorities, there was no appropriate facility in Guinea-Bissau to rehabilitate the little orphan. PASA recently discovered that she’s now living in a national park office and eating anything that is made available to her by the surrounding people. Poor nutrition and social development this early in Bo’s life can cause a lifetime of stress. Bo urgently needs to be moved to a proper sanctuary, especially before she grows bigger and is potentially unsafe around people.
PASA and Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya are working with people in Guinea-Bissau to try to arrange an export permit. We hope that soon, Bo will be able to spend the rest of her days living in a huge forest habitat at Sweetwaters with dozens of other chimps like her.
Just this past week, an adolescent male chimpanzee, nicknamed “Kimia”, which means “peace” in the Lingala language spoken widely in Central Africa, who had been kept as a pet in a military camp in northern Democratic Republic of Congo was confiscated by Congolese wildlife officials and transported by United Nations peacekeepers to a rehabilitation center in South Kivu. The transfer was arranged by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), led by Doug Cress, the founder of PASA. GRASP worked closely with the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) and U.N. peacekeeping forces (MONUSCO) to bring the chimpanzee to the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre (CPRL), one of PASA's member organizations. Little “Kimia” was placed in quarantine before being allowed to join the other 64 chimpanzees in the spacious four-hectare forest enclosure at the center’s facility in Bukavu.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
PASA has begun planning for its annual Strategic Development Conference that is to take place in Africa later this year. The Strategic Development Conference in Nairobi, Kenya from November 4 to 7, 2015 marked the 16th annual meeting of the leaders of Africa’s primate sanctuaries. Thirty-five people participated in the conference, including leaders of 20 of the 22 PASA member organizations and five members of PASA’s Board of Directors. The Strategic Development Conference represented a new beginning for the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. In contrast to past years, the sanctuary presence drastically exceeded that of Western specialists. The conference agenda incorporated discussions led by highly knowledgeable sanctuary directors that provided participants with practical knowledge readily applicable to the African context. Focusing sessions more on internal development provided the opportunity to learn about the needs of the member organizations and determine how PASA can address them, rebuild the members’ confidence in PASA, provide a forum for sharing ideas and knowledge, and provide training.
The desire for PASA to develop a mutually beneficial partnership with the EAGLE Network ensued after a guest presentation by Ofir Drory on the illegal wildlife trade and EAGLE’s work to enforce the laws against it. Post conference discussions between EAGLE Network and PASA affiliated organizations have increased the opportunities for collaboration. Special guests, Jim and Jenny Desmond, illustrated the situation facing the chimpanzees recently abandoned in Liberia by a New York Blood Center research facility. They described their plan to travel to Liberia to improve the living conditions of the chimpanzees and create a sanctuary for them. In addition, new PASA volunteer, Kourtney Stumpe gave a presentation on Open Data Kit (ODK), a versatile app which can be used for recording data or various forms of multimedia. Following the conference, Kourtney traveled to six of the PASA member organizations to assess the potential utility of the app, train the staff members on how to maneuver it, and set up a unique form base that would get them started. Exploring the diversity of fundraising channels available and particularly reaching individual donors through the internet and social media were identified as a major goals. The conference highlighted the vast intellectual resources of PASA, and opened doors for innovation. Overall a strong, supportive network was reestablished among PASA and its members and the atmosphere was positive and collaborative.
MEASURING OUR IMPACT
At the Strategic Development Conference PASA expressed an interest in conducting a census of the number of staff members and animals within PASA affiliated organizations. Submissions from each sanctuary came in during the following weeks. It was concluded that there are currently a total of 2,851 primates and 495 staff members within 22 PASA facilities. Among the diverse array of species in their care are gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, over fifteen species of monkey, as well as a few other primate species. The figure below represents the percent breakdown of each group in the total population of primates in member wildlife centers.
Preliminary results of the historical data collection project using the open source mobile application, Open Data Kit Collect, concluded that:
PASA vows to be an invaluable resource for primate sanctuaries throughout Africa. Recognizing the intrinsic value that wildlife sanctuaries provide as a nexus of long term commitment to enforcement of wildlife laws, animal welfare and conservation of wild primates, we will advocate for our member sanctuaries on these and other relevant issues and provide a readily accessible international communication network for these members. PASA's programs will evolve with the threats that face African primates and the needs of our members; we will continuously seek creative solutions to provide our members with the best tools to promote long term success in the fight to protect and care for Africa's primates. We will accomplish this while maintaining PASA's Culture of Trust and Caring. We will follow PASA's Code of Values which includes transparency, collaboration, fairness, competence, humility and respect both internally with our member sanctuaries and in our relationships with supporters, governments, and non-governmental organizations. Every African primate sanctuary, regardless of size, will be able to obtain quality training and access to conservation services from a membership organization that puts its members' collective interests first and foremost.
Stay tuned for more updates and recent news from the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. We’re very grateful to you for making this work possible through your generous support.
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