Champion for chimps: Jane Goodall has devoted her life to studying and protecting endangered chimpanzees.Chimpanzees are smart, social, and one of humans' closest living relatives in the animal kingdom. They are also under threat. Poaching and habitat destruction have caused their numbers to dwindle dwin·dle
v. dwin·dled, dwin·dling, dwin·dles
To become gradually less until little remains.
To cause to dwindle. See Synonyms at decrease. . Fortunately, chimpanzees have an advocate--Jane Goodall.
Goodall is a primatologist, a scientist who studies primates, such as apes and monkeys. For four decades, she pioneered what has become the longest-running study of chimpanzee chimpanzee, an ape, genus Pan, of the equatorial forests of central and W Africa. The common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, lives N of the Congo River. Full-grown animals of this species are up to 5 ft (1. behavior in the wild. Now, through the Jane Goodall Institute, which has branches all over the world, she's working to protect the animals she has come to know so well.
Recently, the Institute teamed up with Disneynature films for the release of Chimpanzee, a movie that follows an orphan chimp named Oscar. During the movie's opening week, April 20 to 26, 20 cents from every ticket sold will be donated to the Jane Goodall Institute. The funds will be used to help protect chimpanzees' tropical forest homes, to educate people about their plight, and to care for orphaned chimps. Science World spoke with Goodall to learn more about her ongoing work as a primate protector.
Why did you choose to study chimpanzees?
Growing up in England, I fell in love with Africa after reading the book Tarzan of the Apes Noun 1. Tarzan of the Apes - a man raised by apes who was the hero of a series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan . I dreamed of one day going there and living among the animals and writing books about them. It wasn't until I met the famous scientist Louis Leakey, in 1957, that I set out to study chimpanzees, at the age of 26. Leakey sent me to Africa to observe chimpanzees in the wild, so we could learn more about how they behave in order to better understand humans.
What did you learn about these animals?
When I first arrived in what is now Gombe National Park in Tanzania, the chimpanzees were afraid of me and would run away whenever I approached. Eventually, they started letting me get closer.
Then one day in November 1960, something amazing happened. I came across my favorite chimpanzee, David Greybeard. He was stripping the leaves off a stalk of grass and pushing the stalk into a termite termite or white ant, common name for a soft-bodied social insect of the order Isoptera. Termites are easily distinguished from ants by comparison of the base of the abdomen, which is broadly joined to the thorax in termites; in ants, there is mound. When he pulled out the stalk, it was covered with the insects. He then began to eat the termites off the stalk. He had made a tool to fish the termites out of their mound! Until that time, people thought only humans made and used tools, so this was a big discovery.
Over time, I also learned that chimpanzees hunt for and eat meat. Before my discovery, people thought they were vegetarians. I also found that chimpanzees have long-lasting family bonds much like we do.
What are the biggest threats to chimpanzees?
Chimpanzees are disappearing fast because their forest home in Africa is being destroyed at a rate of more than 10 million acres every year. Saving chimpanzees and their habitat is important to every one of us. The tropical forests where chimpanzees live are essential to a healthy global climate. Many medicines critical to human health come from tropical forests. Also, loss of natural resources, like the wood and minerals found in forests, leads to instability and conflict in the developing world, which ultimately threatens world peace.
In Central Africa, chimpanzees are also disappearing because of the bush-meat trade, the commercial hunting of wild animals WILD ANIMALS. Animals in a state of nature; animals ferae naturae. Vide Animals; Ferae naturae. for food. Sometimes chimpanzee mothers are killed for food, and the hunters take their babies to sell them for entertainment or as pets.
What is the Jane Goodall Institute doing to help?
Many people living near chimpanzee habitat have a hard time finding food and taking care of their families. That makes it difficult for them to take care of their environment and the creatures that live in it. The Institute has developed programs to help people who are neighbors with chimpanzees improve their lives.
Many of our programs focus on women. For example, we offer women microcredit microcredit, the extension to poor individuals of small loans to be used for income-generating activities that will improve the borrowers' living standards. The loans, which may be as little as $20 for very poor borrowers in some developing countries, typically are opportunities so they can take out small loans for environmentally sustainable projects. We also provide girls with scholarships so that they can stay in school and learn about sustainable jobs.
Other projects include training people to use fuel-efficient stoves so they don't have to cut down as many trees, showing them ways to farm sustainably, and creating nurseries to grow trees to replace those that have been cut down.
These efforts have really made a difference, particularly in Gombe, where we can see that the trees are growing back.
How can kids get involved?
The Institute has a global youth program for kids called Roots & Shoots. It encourages young people from preschool through college to work on projects to help their communities, animals, and the environment. Projects range from stream cleanups and recycling campaigns to efforts to raise awareness about endangered species endangered species, any plant or animal species whose ability to survive and reproduce has been jeopardized by human activities. In 1999 the U.S. government, in accordance with the U.S. like chimpanzees. Today, Roots & Shoots groups are in 130 countries. To find a group in your area, visit: rootsandshoots.org.
Why should people see the film Chimpanzee?
The movie is an opportunity for people to see amazing footage of wild chimpanzees and their tropical forest home, so rich in plant and animal life. They will learn what incredible animals chimpanzees are and how similar they are to humans in biology and behavior. I hope viewers will want to help save chimpanzees once they learn that they are, in fact, endangered.
How should people celebrate Earth Day?
I encourage every individual to celebrate our Earth each and every day, not just one day a year.
Each of us can help the planet by thinking about the individual actions and choices we make in our lives every day.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What are some ways you can help save endangered animals, like chimpanzees?
UPDATE ON APES Estimated numbers of apes remaining and where they live
HOW MANY: 12,000
HOW MANY: 61,000
WHERE: Indonesia and Malaysia
HOW MANY: 145,000
WHERE: Central Africa
HOW MANY: 330,000
WHERE: Coastal forest of West and Central Africa
GIBBONS Famous people named Gibbons include:
HOW MANY: Unknown (One subspecies subspecies, also called race, a genetically distinct geographical subunit of a species. See also classification. has as few as 20 remaining.)
WHERE: Asia, from Bangladesh to Indonesia
Gorilla Central Africa
Chimpanzee Coastal forest of West and central Africa
Bonobo bonobo, smaller of two species of chimpanzee, genus Pan. Whereas the common chimpanzee, P. troglodytes, lives in forests across most of equatorial Africa, the bonobo, P. Dem. Rep. of the Congo
Gibbon gibbon, small ape, genus Hyloblates, found in the forests of SE Asia. The gibbons, including the siamang, are known as the small, or lesser, apes; they are the most highly adapted of the apes to arboreal life. Southeast Asia
Indonesia and Malaysia