The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jane Goodall Promotes Hope For a Better Planet

"If we are arguably the most intellectually developed animal, why are we destroying our planet?" Dr. Jane Goodall at a recent talk in Washington, DC

Renowned British primatologist Jane Goodall spent almost

half a century studying wild chimpanzees in Gombe National

Park in Tanzania. Her ground-breaking discoveries in that

tiny preserve of African forest have contributed much of what

we know today about the social behavior of chimpanzees,

mankind's closest animal relatives.

Today, the 75-year old scientist leaves the field work to

others. She now devotes her time to the foundation she

established to promote wildlife conservation and public

education. That's also the focus of her new book,

Hope for Animals and Their World, which highlights the

stories of extraordinary people who have managed

to bring endangered species back from the brink of extinction.

Jane Goodall: The early years

Jane Goodall has been fascinated by animals as far back as she

can remember. Even before she could talk, she says she was

"observing earthworms, reading Dr. Doolittle books and

wanting to learn the language of animals."

In 1960, at the age of 26, she traveled to Africa where

she began her ground-breaking study of chimpanzees

under the guidance of the renowned anthropologist and

paleontologist, the late Dr. Louis Leakey.

It was in the forests of the Gombe National Park inBritish primatologist Jane Goodall has always been fascinated by animals

British primatologist Jane Goodall has always been

fascinated by animals

Tanzania where Goodall spent the next several decades,

studying the chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

Her research provided a unique and intimate portrait

of these complex animals and shed new light on the

intelligence of both apes and humans.

"An animal more like us than any other animal" (JG)

"If we are arguably the most intellectually developed animal, why are we destroying our planet?" Dr. Jane Goodall

One of the most significant discoveries that emerged from

Goodall's findings was that chimpanzees use – and make – tools.

"It was thought that only humans did this and that this

set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom," she says.

Over time she, and her team of researchers, revealed

that chimps share other behavioral traits with humans

as well, "like the long-term supportive, affection bond

between family members." Goodall says chimpanzees

can live to be more than 50 years old and these bonds

"can last throughout life."

A global organization takes root

Goodall's affection for these creatures, and her desire

to protect them from human encroachments, inspired

her in 1977 to found the Jane Goodall Institute. With

offices in 22 countries, its global mission is to protect

chimpanzees and their habitats.

But Goodall notes that despite all the research and

ambitious conservation efforts, the number of wild

chimpanzees in Africa has continued to decline.

"When I began there were somewhere between

one and two million. And now, 300,000 maximum,"

she says.

Habitat loss just one factor in declining numbers of chimps

Goodall says the primary reason for the shrinking

chimp population, like most endangered species,

is the destruction of their habitat.

And one way to stop that destruction she says, is by

addressing the needs of the people living near those

precious habitats. "How could you try to save the

chimpanzees in their little oasis of fertile forest, when

outside [it] you have more people living than the land

can support, population growth from normal means and

also refugees?" she says.

One of the other problems facing the chimp population

is the growing demand for their meat says Goodall. In

the old days no hunter would shoot a female with a

baby because they simply wouldn't, she says, but now,

"hunters will shoot anything; they will shoot elephants,

gorillas, antelopes, pigs, birds even, and bats; anything

that can be cut up and smoked," she says.
The Jane Goodall Institute has improved the lives of more than 600,000 people through its various programs

The Jane Goodall Institute has improved the

lives of more than 600,000 people through its various programs

Conservation programs for communities and children

In 1994 Goodall started the TACARE (Take Care)

program. The development effort partners with local

villagers in 24 communities to create sustainable

income-generating opportunities while promoting

conservation goals. "Because the villagers understand

that we care about them as well as the chimpanzees,

it's beginning to come around," she says.

Goodall believes that if long-term conservation is to

work, it has to involve young people. So in 1990, the

Goodall Institute created Roots & Shoots. The program

helps young people from pre-school through university

identify problems in their communities and take action

to solve them.

"Every group chooses three kinds of projects to make

the world a better place," she says, "one to help people,

one to help animals including dogs and cats and pigs,

and one to help the environment that we all share," she says.
"Young people, when informed and empowered, when

they realize that what they do truly makes a difference,

can indeed change the world. And they are changing it

already," Jane Goodall

Hope for animals on the brink of extinction

Book Cover

Dr. Goodall writes about TACARE (Take Care) and

her other conservation efforts in her new book, Hope for

Animals and Their World. But the book focuses on the

inspiring stories of dozens of field biologists who have

managed to rescue endangered species from the brink

of extinction, despite tremendous obstacles.

"One of the reasons I wanted to do this book was that

there is so much doom and gloom - and quite rightly,"

Goodall says. "We have made a horrible mess of the

planet, no question, but at the same time, there are all

these extraordinary success stories." She says she

wanted to write about the "amazing people doing

amazing work" that led to those successes.

Saving the golden lion tamarin

One of those people is Dr. Leonardo Coimbra-Filho of

the Rio de Janeiro Primate Center who is often called

the father of primatology in Brazil. Together with other

conservationists, he created a captive breeding program

that has saved the golden lion tamarin, the most

endangered of all New World primates.

Goodall says she is thrilled about the success of the

program because so many of the monkeys have been

re-introduced back into the wild. "Many of them are

now living completely free of any scientific observation.

They've made it!"

Indeed, having been successfully released into the

forests of Brazil, the golden lion tamarins are the only

primate species to have been downlisted from critically

endangered to endangered on the IUCN [International

Union for Conservation of Nature] Red List of

Threatened Species.

Making a Difference

Nearly 50 years after she began her work, Jane Goodall

remains an energetic champion for the welfare of the

world's wild animals. Appointed in 2002 by the United

Nations as one of its messengers of peace, she travels the

globe nearly 300 days a year, spreading her message of

hope and positive change.

"These are the stories that give me hope," Jane Goodall

"Every single day we impact the world around us,"

she says. "If we would just think about the consequences

of the little choices we make; what we eat, wear, buy,

how we interact with people, animals, the environment,

then we start making small changes and that can lead

to the huge change that we must have."

Positive change, says Goodall, has to start within

ourselves, so we can better understand – and appreciate

– the deep connection between us and the natural world.

28 September 2009


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