Africa Programs Update

05 May 2018

We are pleased to share that the construction of a new lab and office buildings at Gombe Stream Research Centre is complete. These facilities will continue to revolutionise JGI’s research and attract more world-class scientists for our collaborative work. To this day, the research team at Gombe continues long-term monitoring of chimpanzees using Dr Jane’s approach featuring all-day observations of the different recognised individuals. There are currently 93 chimpanzees at Gombe in three chimpanzee communities, many of whom are direct descendants of the first chimpanzees that Dr Jane observed nearly 60 years ago. JGIA is proud to have supported this project and we look forward to sharing the exciting new insights into the Gombe chimpanzees and their behaviour that it produces.

Looking further west, our JGIA Africa Programs Coordinator, Natasha Coutts, had a successful, albeit wet, month researching chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda. The chimps were ranging in large groups of up to 15 individuals, which allowed Natasha to observe a number of different behaviours and even identify some new individuals that she hadn’t seen before. With an estimate of only 400-600 chimpanzees remaining in Rwanda, and little known about the unique adaptations of chimpanzees to high altitude, montane habitats, Natasha’s research on the behaviour, ecology and health of the Nyungwe chimpanzees is vital to help improve local conservation strategies. You can find out more about and support Natasha’s work here.

Finally, we are thrilled to share that two JGI volunteers from Australia will be joining the JGI Spain team in Senegal for the second half of the year! The inspiring Leigh and Shona will be living with local families and making a real difference helping conduct chimpanzee research and raising community awareness on the ground. To find out more and even volunteer yourself, please visit Have an amazing experience Leigh and Shona and we can’t wait to hear all about it!

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