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Western Lowland Gorilla

Ape TAG Conservation Initiative

Zoo New England is proud to be recognized as a Gold Supporter of the Ape TAG Conservation Initiative!

Given catastrophic population declines, the American Zoological Association estimates that some ape species will be extinct in as little as 20 years. Ape survival in the wild is critically threatened by habitat loss, illegal hunting, disease and the pet trade.

In response, zoos around the country are leveraging their expertise, education initiatives and resources to protect and preserve ape populations. The Ape TAG Conservation Initiative is a collective effort by zoos to help conserve wild populations of endangered apes in their natural habitats. Projects range from species monitoring and protection to law enforcement, ecotourism, and veterinary and disease monitoring. All projects include the local communities. These projects help gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, gibbons and their habitats.

Since its launch in 2010, the Initiative has made significant contributions to the conservation of wild apes, including:

  • Recognition of Goualougo Triangle, which is home to significant populations of chimpanzees and western lowland gorillas in Republic of Congo, as a National Park
  • Establishment of a National Chimpanzee Veterinary Center in Uganda, which put in place health monitoring protocols for over 600 wild eastern chimpanzees
  • Yearly anti-poaching patrols covering more than 1,250 km of bonobo, chimpanzee and Grauer’s gorilla habitat in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Capacity building of national park staff, students, and in country veterinarians in Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Uganda, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Greater collection of ape distribution and density data
  • Over 20,000 trees planted in Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia
  • Community engagement activities that reached more than 5,000 individuals living around national parks in multiple countries in Africa and Asia

A second phase of the Initiative has already been launched to support additional conservation projects aimed at sustaining ape populations in the wild.  

How you can help

 

  • To protect the orangutan's forest home, shop responsibly to avoid purchasing products made with palm oil. Learn more.
  • Write to your state representative in support of the Great Ape Conservation Fund.
  • Don't purchase a primate as a pet, and contact your state representative encouraging laws which prohibit primates as pets.
  • Purchase conservation stamps from your local post office; a portion of proceeds goes to conservation funding for great apes.
  • Hang up on deforestation and recycle your old cell phone at the Zoo. Learn more.
  • Play an active role in conservation: volunteer here at Zoo New England!