Republic of the Congo

The Conkouati-Douli National Park in the Republic of the Congo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a hotspot for biodiversity. It is home to a population of central African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes). The park covers 500,000 hectares and is made up of lakes, mangroves, dense forests, and shrub savannahs. Many endangered species are found there, such as the central African chimpanzee, the African forest elephant, the mandrill, the western lowland gorilla, the leopard, and the African manatee.

A species living on borrowed time

The central African chimpanzee is classified as “endangered” by the IUCN. Fragmentation and loss of habitat as well as a decline in food resources are contributing to the decline of the populations of this species.
Poaching is also a serious problem for this species. Baby chimpanzees are captured to be sold as pets and adults are poached for the bushmeat trade.

Conservation actions

The Help Congo association, founded by Aliette Jamart, has been working since 1989 in the Conkouati-Douli National Park to protect wild chimpanzees. The association also specialises in the collection and reintroduction of young chimpanzees that are the victims of trafficking. Since the first reintroduction of 5 individuals in 1996, nearly 40 individuals have now been released into the National Park thanks to the programme.

In 2020, Beauval Nature took over the management of the Help Congo association at the request of Mrs Jamart, who wished to retire. The objectives were to continue conservation actions for chimpanzees whilst also developing research and conservation for all the National Park's biodiversity, including elephants, gorillas, leopards, and manatees.

Beauval Nature will also continue actions for economic development and to raise awareness in the communities.

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