If you didn't realise there was a problem regarding our nearest relatives, consider this:
"Primates are disappearing at an alarming rate. Every primate species is listed on the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. All apes, (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gibbons), all lemurs, and many monkeys appear on the Convention's Appendix 1, the list reserved for the most endangered species. All other primates are listed on Appendix II."
International Primate Protection League
It seems that where we are not destroying habitats, we are either killing primates for meat, using them for medical research, abusing them in circuses and similar entertainments or taking them, wholly inappropriately, as pets.
As a result of this, a large number of protection organisations and sanctuaries have been formed throughout the world, many of which are listed below. We have included primate sanctuaries and campaigning organisations as well as organisations working in the field.
UK readers might be interested in visiting Dorset's Monkey World which provides sanctuary and care for a large number of rescued chimpanzees and takes part in international breeding programmes for orangutans and gibbons.
AESOP stands for Allied Effort to Save Other Primates. It is an international coalition of for the protection of monkeys and apes against abuse and exploitation. The website includes information on anti-vivisection, campaigns, organisations, sanctuaries and trade data.
The Ape Alliance is an international campaigning affiliation of organisations and individuals working for the conservation and protection of apes. The Alliance organises working groups to deal with specific aspects of ape conservation, for example the Bushmeat Working Group. Each header contains lists of organisations that are working to protect that particular species.
The Bonobo Conservation Initiative
Bonobos are one of the 2 species of chimpanzee and are reckoned to be the most intelligent of the great apes. Numbers have dwindled so that they are now the rarest of all the great apes, found wild only in the forests of central Congo basin. Yet still they are hunted for meat and profit. Extraordinary! The Bonobo initiative is trying to help by establishing community based reserves, information exchange with local government, surveys, community conservation centres, eco tourism and media campaigns.
If you would like to see a Bonobo, Twycross Zoo has a small family of bonobos which is breeding successfully.
The Bushmeat Project
As they say, isn't it about time to stop the slaughter?
Bushmeat Crisis Task Force
This is a consortium of conservation organizations and scientists that have joined forces to campaign against the commercial hunting of wildlife for sale as meat.
Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Trust
Headers: Chimps for Adoption, How to Adopt, School Scheme, Personnel, Maps & Location, Gallery, Sales
Founded in 1969, the Trust monitors and protects a population of over 60 chimpanzees, rescued chimps and their offspring, occupying three islands in the River Gambia National Park. Run by Janis Carter and Stella Marsden, the Trust became a UK registered charity in 2000. You can help by adopting a chimp. You will receive a colour photo and a history of your adopted chimp plus a twice yearly newsletter.
Operated by the Jane Goodhall Institute, Chimpanzoo is a research programme involving around 200 chimps. The website contains several articles addressing most aspects of chimpaanzee behaviour.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
Founded by Dian Fossey in 1978, the Fund is dedicated to the conservation of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Gorillas face great threats from poaching and loss of habitat. The fund works mainly through conservation research and education, with funding of small scale local projects involving local communities and the training of rangers and trackers. Since Dr Fossey's murder in 1985, the fund is administered from Atlanta but the staff and researchers are based in Karisoke, Rwanda. You can help by adopting a gorilla, by becoming a member or making a donation. Membership benefits include a full colour calendar and the quarterly Dian Fossey Gorilla Journal. You can also sign up for e-news.
Located in South Florida, the Dumond Conservancy is a non profit organisation providing sanctuary for confiscated and retired laboratory primates. They also provide educational and scientific resources for students.
International Gorilla Conservation Programme
Founded in 1991, the IGCP was set up to protect mountain gorillas and their habitat in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The IGCP is partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna & Flora International and the World Wide Fund for Nature. The IGCP adopts a hands on role in gorilla conservation with such activities as developing monitoring techniques and setting up local community initiatives in order to reduce threats to the park.
International Primate Protection League
US based and founded in 1973, the IPPL has field representatives in over 30 countries working to create and preserve national parks and sanctuaries. They also work for bans on primate hunting, trapping, and local and international trade.
The Jane Goodall Institute
Dr Jane Goodall spent many years in Tanzania studying wild chimpanzees in their natural habitat and as a result has increased our knowledge of these remarkable animals enormously. In the 1980s she became concerned with the declining number of chimpanzees due to deforestation, the bushmeat trade and illegal capture for resale. The Institute is "working to prevent their extinction, through conservation, research and education". One example of the type of project the JGI involves itself with is the Tchimpounga Sanctuary in the Congo, which takes in chimps and orphans that have been rescued from the bushmeat trade. In order to help raise funds, you can adopt a chimp, buy gifts from their giftshop, become a member of the institute or simply give a donation. If you would like a virtual tour of the Gombe, where Jane Goodall did her research, visit www.discoverchimpanzees.org. The Jane Goodall Institute is a registered charity based in Southampton.
Mountain Gorilla and Rainforest Direct Aid
Founded by Berggorilla & Regenwald Direkthilfe, Mountain Gorilla & Rainforest Direct Aid support mountain gorilla conservation in Uganda and the Congo with "hands on" help such as the delivery of ranger equipment, land buying funding plus on the ground personel.
Orangutan Foundation International
Indigenous to Borneo and Sumatra, orangutans are under threat of extinction due to deforestation resulting in habitat loss. Founded in 1986 by Dr Birute Galdikas, the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) is a non profit organisation that seeks to conserve the orangutan, and its habitat, as well as re-introducing ex-captive orangs back into the forest. The "Flagship" of the OFI is the Tanjung Puting National Park in Borneo, a protected area in South East Asia of wetlands and forest where orangutans can live safely. Part of the funding of the OFI goes in patrolling and protecting this area. Visit the site to see a list of their projects and programmmes. If you would like to help the foundation you might like to visit the UK branch of the foundation on www.orangutan.org.uk where you can become a member or get ideas for fundraising locally. The OFI arranges various study tours of Borneo and volunteer programmes. Full details on site.
Primate protection organisation providing sanctuary, rehabilitation and care to a variety of animals, including primates. The sanctuary is located in San Antonio, Texas and was founded in 1978. The website has a virtual tour plus information on the primates in their care.
Primates for Primates
An Australian campaigining organisation for the care and conservation of primates, with the focus on research primates, primates in circuses and pet primates.
A large US based conservation organisation for rainforests worldwide, with an anual budget of around $9 million. They operate by focussing on sustainable crops, eco tourism and collaborative partnerships with businesses.
Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme
This organisation is the result of a partnership between the PanEco Foundation, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Foundation for a Sustainable Ecosystem. To date they have established a quarantine centre in Northern Sumatra near the village of Batu Mbelin and another centre next to the Bukit Tigapuluh National part further south. From these centres orangutans are reintroduced into the wild.
Sumatran Orangutan Society
SOS is a campaigning organisation for the promotion of public awareness and to fight habitat loss due to development. They also support the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, and assist the Bohorok Orangutan Centre which is government run.
The Wildlife Conservation Society
Operated by the Bronx Zoo, the Society runs various conservation programmes, including the protection of all three gorilla sub species: Mountain gorillas, Grauer's gorilla and Western Lowland gorillas.
Primate Conservation Incorporated
This is a volunteer, not for profit, organisation that is concerned with habitat preservation for some of the most endangered primates in the world. Primate Conservation Inc operates out of Rhode Island.
Lemur Conservation Foundation
The website of the Myakka City Lemur Reserve in Florida. In addition to maintaining the reserve, hte LCF also works closely with its sister reserve, the Tempolo Forest Reserve in Madagascar. The foundation focusses largely on the preservation of less well known species of lemurs.
Duke University Lemur Center
Part of Duke University, Durham, North Caroliner, the aim of the Lemur Centre is to promote research of prosimians and their habitats. So you will find them studying such areas as physiology, biomechanics and anatomy as well as field work such as the distribution, behavior, ecology and conservation needs of lemurs in Madagascar. The animals at the centre consist of not only lemurs but other prosimians such as lorises and bushbabies. You can help the work by "adopting" a lemur.
Gibbon Conservation Center
The Gibbon Conservation Center is based in Santa Clarita, California and is a non profit organisation set up for the study, conservation and public education. The facility has around 40 gibbons. Part of their work is involved in helping projects devoted to gibbon conservation in place such as Java, India, Kalimantan, China and Vietnam.
Gibbon Conservation Alliance
Based in Switzerland, the Gibbon Conservation Alliance was founded in 2003 in order to promote gibbon conservation and research and to increase public awareness about the plight of these endangered species. Current projects includes work at the Nanjuanhe rainforest in SW China and collaboration with the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Hong Kong to enable the survival of the Hainan crested gibbon.
Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
This is the research division of The Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand and is to be found in Khao Pra Theaw Non-Hunting Area at the Bang Pae Waterfall, Phuket, Thailand. The objectives of the project is the rehabilitation of gibbons back into their natural habitat, opposition to the use of white-handed gibbons as tourist attractions, repopulation of the rainforest in Phuket-Khao Pra Theaw Non-Hunting Area, to promote public awareness of the importance of conservation and to provide volunteers the opportunity to study the white-handed gibbon.
Primate Society of Great Britain
Affiliated to the International Primatological Society, the PSGB was founded in 1967 to promote research into primate biology, conservation and management. The PSGB also publishes the journal Primate Eye which is free to members.
The Red Uakari Monkey Project
This project, in the Yavari Valley of Peru, aims to investigate and help conserve the Red Uakari Monkey. The research is headed by Mark Bowler and is funded by the Rufford Foundation. You can help by volunteering with the research. You can also help by purchasing prints. Full details on the website.
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Founded in 1988 and based in Chigago, The Rainforest Conservation Fund is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the world's tropical forests. The aims of the fund are to increase public awareness and raise money to protect endangered rainforests. Projects that have received fund from the RFC include Reserva Comunal Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo, Parque Nacional Corcovado, Costa Rica and Bolivar Zoo, San Jose, Costa Rica.