Earlier this year journalist and presenter Asha Tanna travelled to Budongo to learn more about the problems caused by the snares set by hunters in the Budongo forest. These snares are intended to catch small antelope known as duiker, but tragically also trap many other animals including our Sonso chimpanzees¬†resulting in devastating permanent injuries and in some cases death. BCFS has instigated a number of conservation projects, including employing ex-hunters in a snare-removal team (read more about the great work they do here), and an education program within the local communities. Recently a new initiative has been started to provide hunters with goats which they can then raise and breed in order to provide an alternative source of meat and income in exchange for no longer hunting in the forest. It’s early days but so far the project has gone from strength to strength and the number of snares and snare injuries seems to be dropping. See Asha’s great video about her visit here, and see if you can spot a few familiar faces (Karo, Zig, Night and Nambi to name a few..)!

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James Kakura

November 18, 2010

James (center) on the BCFS lake trip

 

We’re are deeply sorry to announce the death of our field assistant and friend James Kakura. James had been with the project since its earliest days, and while the loss of his rich knowledge of the forest is irreplaceable, it is his quiet presence and easy smile that will be deeply missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him. A fisherman in his youth, we all knew of his enduring passion for all things fish, and we’re sure he will rest in peace now close to his family home on Lake Albert. We will miss him dearly.

Sorry about the break in the news folks but it’s been a busy busy summer here at BCFS, in July we hosted Jane Goodall and a CBS news team who came to film in Budongo Forest as part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of chimpanzee research at Gombe. Schedules were tight, but Jane took the time to talk to the members of staff and students who came from all around the forest for the visit.

The field assistants looking sharp in their uniforms for a special visitor

Then, in August, we celebrated our own big anniversary – 20 years of BCFS! Attendees included people from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe – the huge event was kicked off by a serious workshop that covered both a review of the work the project has achieved so far, and an insight into the new work that is going on as the project goes from strength to strength (check out our current projects page here for an idea of what the researchers are getting up to at the moment). Chimpanzee behaviour and health monitoring, forest conservation issues, education and training projects – BCFS is now involved in a huge variety of projects and having everyone together gave us a great opportunity to discuss the exciting plans for the future, including a National Chimpanzee Veterinary Center – lets see what happens in the next 20-years!

After the workshop came the serious buisiness – cue the sound system, light the fires and grab a beer, it’s party time! and the 150 expected guests soon doubled in number as the word spread. The music was loud, the dancing was lively and the food and beers were plentiful, all the ingredients for a classic Budongo party.

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