Protecting habitats, improving conservation, and providing sanctuary for great apes and gibbons

April 9, 2020

The world’s bonobos, chimpanzees, gibbons, gorillas, and orangutans are under threat everywhere they live, but dedicated organizations are working hard to safeguard them.

The latest grants in Arcus’ Great Apes & Gibbons Program bolster efforts to protect crucial habitats and support learning and advocacy to improve conservation around the world. Significant funds sustain longtime support of permanent sanctuaries.

Habitat defense

Conservation International Foundation will work with law enforcement and local communities to protect Veun Sai-Siem Pang National Park, a pristine forest in northern Cambodia that is the global stronghold of the northern yellow-cheeked crested gibbon.

International Rivers Network is raising awareness about a planned dam project that would destroy a chimpanzee habitat in Moyen-Bafing National Park, Guinea’s largest protected area and home to thousands of chimpanzees. Progressive PR firm Waxman Strategies will also use funding to oppose the proposed dam—as well as habitat-threatening development projects in Southeast Asia—through communications, lobbying, and support of national movements to hold governments and the private sector accountable to environmental and community needs.

The world’s most endangered primate species is the Hainan gibbon, found only on China’s Hainan Island. The Zoological Society of London will use its funding for research, outreach, and institutional development to strengthen the movement to protect the Hainan gibbon and to promote gibbon conservation in southern China.

In western Borneo, Indonesia, funding will support Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program’s work to protect an important orangutan habitat through sustainable management of forests by local communities.

In Sabah, Malaysia, Land Empowerment Animals People–US is working with indigenous people to protect forests and ape populations on community lands. By promoting indigenous stewardship of the lands, and livelihoods aligned with conservation, LEAP aims to create a more sustainable future for the area’s people and nonhuman apes.

Research and education to improve conservation

The School for Indigenous and Local Knowledge at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) will continue preserving indigenous knowledge about rapidly eroding forest habitats shared by the BaAka people and great apes in the Congo Basin.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland will monitor chimpanzee health, strengthen partnerships, and raise awareness about threats to chimpanzees in the Albertine Rift region of western Uganda.

The Viet Nature Conservation Centre will complete an assessment of the status of the southern white-cheeked gibbon in Vietnam and increase training of site managers and dialogue with their counterparts in Laos.

Rehabilitation and sanctuary

The Spring docket continues Arcus’ long-term support of Save the Chimps, which provides permanent sanctuary and lifelong care for chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories or retired from the entertainment industry or the pet trade.

International Animal Rescue Indonesia will use its support to rescue and rehabilitate orangutans displaced by habitat loss, the pet trade, and human-wildlife conflict, and to reintroduce them to Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

Grants were also awarded to: