PASA's diverse member sanctuaries face many different challenges to protect the wild primates and local habitats. This year PASA has distributed nearly $40,000 in grants to member sanctuaries to pursue creative solutions to protect primates in the areas where they work. Grants include the following sanctuary projects:
- Doubling the number of ecoguards protecting the critically endangered Cross River Gorillas and endangered drill monkeys in Afi Mountain Reserve (Drill Ranch, Nigeria). This reserve is one of the last habitats for the Cross River Gorilla, and every poacher stopped or snare removed makes a vital difference for this species on the brink.
- Setting up a nature club for kids in the Fernan Vaz lagoon area (Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project, Gabon). This region is home to gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants. Due to the large lagoon and many islands and rivers, this area is hard for law enforcement to effectively patrol, so bushmeat hunting and capture of live animals is a major problem. This nature club is important nature education programming for local children who see bushmeat and live animal sales happening all around them.
- Funding ecoguards and snare removal in Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Lwiro, DRC). This park is home to chimpanzees, Grauer's gorillas and other rare wildlife. Grauer's gorillas are endangered and live only in Democratic Reoublic of Congo (DRC) so their protection within this park is critical. Funding ecoguards provides crucial livelihoods for local people who might otherwise (and in some cases did!) hunt these animals.
- Funding an EcoGuard in Ekola ya Bonobo Reserve, where the only area where bonobos have been reintroduced, and providing alternative livelihoods training for community members in this area to replace revenue from bushmeat hunting (Lola ya Bonobo, DRC). They are also doing conservation education including community meetings and a radio show. Both community meetings and radio are key means of coummunication in DRC where internet connectivity and television reception is limited. Radio programs about conservation are an effective and popular way to get information across the country.
- Funding for an Officer for forest protection (including removing snares and halting poaching) and working with the local community in Mbargue Forest. This currently unprotected habitat is home to chimpanzees and western lowland gorillas (Sanaga-Yong, Cameroon). This new position will provide a job for a local Cameroonian while helping to protect these endangered apes.
- Coordination of guard program and supervisor's training of 22 guards; confiscation of guns/nets/illegal products and helping to ensure prosecution of poachers in Parc National du Haut Niger (Centre pour Conservation des Chimpanzes, Guinea). This park has wild and reintroduced chimpanzees but unfortunately is experiencing difficulty with illegal hunting and fishing. The guard program is an important source of jobs within the area.
- Education programming and billboards on wildlife protection laws; funding for eco-guards within Conkouati-Douli National Park (Tchimpounga, Republic of Congo). This park is home to mandrills and chimpanzees, gorillas and forest elephants. Tchimpounga has had success with better enforcement and adherence to wildlife laws when there is a long-term billboard campaign educating people on what the laws are and the consequences of breaking them.
- Outreach to 10 primary schools in Entebbe, Unganda to sensitize children about chimpanzees and their plight. After an edcuation program about Uganda's chimpanzees, the childen will be engaged in a creative-writing contest to describe chimpanzees and offer ideas on how to protect them. The children and teachers will have an expenses-paid trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary (CSWCT - Ngamba Isand).
- Funding for local community education regarding the misconceptions about vervet monkeys aiming to lower the number of incidents of pellet gun and other shootings and cruelty associated with witchcraft (Vervet Monkey Foundation). Vervet monkeys are considered pests by many in South Africa and cruelty is commonplace. The sanctuary has been effectively engaging the community to better understand, appreciate and protect local populations of the monkeys, whose local populations are beginning to decrease.