Despite Kibale National Park’s protected status, people still enter the forest illegally to poach animals and extract resources (e.g. logging, collecting firewood, and burning wood for charcoal, gathering medicinal plants, grazing livestock).
In Kibale, most poaching occurs on a small scale, with local hunters killing animals to supply meat for their families. Farmers may also kill animals to prevent them from raiding crops planted near the park boundaries.
Poachers predominately focus their efforts on small game, using illusive hunting practices, such as snaring or net hunting.
These types of human disturbance all threaten the livelihood and longevity of the park and its inhabitants. However, one of the most direct threats to chimpanzees in Kibale comes from snaring.
Although Ugandans do not traditionally target primates for consumption, chimpanzees can accidentally get caught in poachers’ snares that are intended for other game, such as bush pigs and duikers.
Snares are inexpensive and simple to set. A typical snare consists of a camouflaged loop of wire or nylon rope attached to a bent pole.
When an animal steps into the snare, the pole releases and tightens the wire or nylon loop around its leg.
The animal then becomes tethered to the pole until the poacher returns to retrieve it, which can be hours, days, or even weeks later. Snares can readily cut flesh to the bone, leaving many animals to die in agony before the poacher returns.
Working with other NGOs and national governments to develop IUCN Action Plans. Improving wildlife protection by working directly with protected area authorities and their game guards.
Developing environmental education programs to inform both children and adults about chimpanzees’ vulnerability to hunting.
To combat habitat loss, working with national governments and with logging concessions to improve land use planning. This is the only way to conserve them.