In an endless struggle to ensure Chimpanzees’ survival in Uganda’s forests, JGI Uganda supports and works closely with snare removal teams (anti-poaching patrols) . Not only do anti-poaching patrols remove snares and traps found in the forest, a professional veterinary team is also called upon to remove fresh snares from chimpanzees that can be located and temporarily captured for intervention and to monitoring.
With a cost of approximately $6000 USD per year for the field assistants and equipment necessary to stop illegal poaching, the protection of chimpanzees is a challenging mission.
While hunting of primates, particularly chimpanzees, is not common in Uganda, hunting of other mammals, such as duikers and bush pigs, has a direct impact on chimpanzees and other primates living in the same environments. The primary methods for trapping wildlife are the setting of wire snares and metal jaw traps throughout chimpanzee habitat. Chimpanzees traveling through the forest can get hands or feet trapped, often resulting in life threatening injuries and even death.
In Kibale and Budongo forests, where several chimpanzee studies are ongoing, researchers have observed up to 25% of the forests’ chimpanzees affected by snare or jaw trap related injuries. The full impact of these injuries on survival is being closely examined, and the deaths of several chimpanzees have been attributed to wire snares and jaw traps.
In Kalinzu Forest Reserve, researcher’s report 50% of chimpanzees in their field study bear snare related injuries. Much more uncommon but still a threat, killing of chimpanzees for witchcraft purposes has also occurred.