All of Africa’s great apes are endangered or critically endangered. Habitat destruction has drastically affected primate populations throughout Africa and the hunting of primates has made much of their remaining habitat unsafe. If these activities are not changed, we may lose our closest relatives – chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas – forever.
Located in Uganda and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) is the largest association of wildlife centers in Africa. PASA builds the capacity of its 22 member organizations in 13 African nations through workshops and trainings on diverse topics including conservation, education, and community development. PASA addresses conservation issues on an international scale while its member wildlife centers have invaluable local knowledge. This combination uniquely positions PASA to address primate conservation issues throughout Africa. PASA’s members manage conservation and education programs and almost three quarters of them conduct anti-poaching patrols. Most are also involved in community education and nearly half conduct community development projects and contribute to the classification of natural areas as protected.
In November 2016, the inaugural PASA Primate Conservation Training Workshop was held to enable primate protection organizations across Africa to plan and implement community development projects that mitigate human impact on ape survival, establish and manage forest patrols, develop new community education and outreach programs, and increase the enforcement of wildlife protection laws.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium will continue to work to protect these majestic creatures for years to come.