Janette Wallis, Ph.D.
Organization: Kasokwa Forest Project
Location: Kasokwa River in the Masindi District of Uganda
Research: Chimpanzee Conservation: Survey of Western Uganda's Forest Fragments
Abstract: The Kasokwa Forest Project focuses on the study and protection of chimpanzees living in a forest fragment along the Kasokwa River in the Masindi District of Uganda. This small group of chimpanzees has become separated from the Budongo Forest Reserve through fragmentation of their environment. As we study the daily activities of these chimpanzees, we are learning how they have adapted to the destruction of their habitat and in the long-term, we will be able to determine whether the chimpanzees can survive in the forest fragment for the foreseeable future. In addition to the small forest at Kasokwa, however, there are several other fragments in the area that are known to contain chimpanzees. We plan to conduct a preliminary survey of these areas in the effort to develop a broad-scale conservation effort. During 2004, we will conduct reconnaissance trips to surrounding forests to interview the local people, map the forests and carry out surveys of the forest inhabitants. The data collected during this period will aid in efforts to establish a broad-scale project on ecosystem health in the region. The long-term goal is to reconnect the fragmented habitats to assure the chimpanzees' survival and reproductive potential.