Chimpanzees are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation (IUCN). This is why the IUCN calls for increased effort and strong guidelines to protect the few remaining populations.
In Uganda, chimpanzees are found in Kibale Forest National Park and the forest reserves of Budongo, Bugoma, Kalinzu, Kasyoha-kitomi and Maramagambo. A large percentage of the country’s chimpanzee population (about 75%) lives in these areas. Uganda has about 5,000 chimpanzees in the wild. Chimpanzee tracking, habituation, health monitoring and research majorly takes place in Kibale National Park.
Other places where chimpanzee tracking is done are: Budongo Forest Murchison Falls National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest and the Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve.
Tourism and research are some of the strategies employed in conservation of chimpanzees. However for such activities (tourism or research) to take place, chimpanzees have to be habituated to human presence. Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives. This means that chimpanzee-human interaction is liable to cause or increase risks of disease transmission. This, therefore poses a significant and growing threat to the health, well-being and long term viability of wild primate populations.
Therefore, to minimize such risks, guidelines are put in place for both researchers and visitors who come to see these amazing animals
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