Biomonitoring is conducted by the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation since 2004. Biomonitoring is the technical term for repeatedly surveying the distribution and frequency of a species – in our case chimpanzees. We try to answer the following questions:
- Where do the last wild chimpanzee populations live?
- Are these populations stable or declining?
- How many wild chimpanzees are left?
- What are the threats to their survival?
WCF’s biomonitoring efforts start with cartography of areas where the existence of chimpanzees is either confirmed or suspected, the design of protocols for data acquisition, and the training of local ecologists.During the data acquisition phase, teams of 5 to 7 people walk on previously determined routes and collect data on chimpanzee presence. After each survey, the collected data need to be analysed. WCF attaches great importance to the fact that its biomonitoring experts work according to strict scientific criteria. WCF experts both train local teams and supervise data acquisition and analysis. Existing survey methods are also regularly checked for accuracy and, if necessary, adjusted. Biomonitoring results are used to help the authorities focus conservation activities such as anti-poaching patrols on the areas of greatest threat to wildlife.
WCF cooperates closely with the national authorities such as the ministries in Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves, Société pour le Dévélopement des Forêts, Forestry Development Authority, Direction Nationale des Aires Protégées et de la Biodiversité.
WCF biomonitoring programs:
Côte d’Ivoire: Taï National Park, Banco National Park, Comoé National Park, Marahoué National Park, Classified Forests of Cavally and Goin-Débé.
Liberia: Grebo National Forest and Sapo National Park.
Guinea: Nationwide survey, Foutah Djallon Bafing Region, Guinea Alumina Corporation and Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée mining concessions.