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Bonobo: Lukuru Wildlife Research Project

The Lukuru Project lies at the very heart of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The project mission is conservation of free-ranging bonobos and their natural habitat.

It covers an area of approximately 17 percent of the global range of the bonobo, and 20 percent of the Salonga National Park, a World Heritage Site in Danger. Working at ground-level on the front-line of bonobo conservation since 1992, the Lukuru Project focus includes two of the nine bonobo priority populations identified by the GRASP Scientific Commission and international experts in 2006.

The approach is to locate and document important areas of bonobo distribution and abundance through rigorous scientific methods, identify regional threats, enable a locally appropriate framework for protection, and participate with local people in the conservation of bonobos and their habitat. Members of the Lukuru team strive to change human behaviours that are contrary to bonobo conservation, encourage behaviours that support bonobo conservation, and minimize species loss every day. Working through and with the national institution for conservation (ICCN), as well as local groups and the authority infrastructure, the Lukuru Project collaborates with local communities to raise public awareness for bonobo conservation and build enduring relationships with those people whose involvement will ultimately protect the regional bonobos and their habitat.

An entirely field-based program, the Lukuru Project has consistently demonstrated a substantial record of successful activity over many years, pairing conservation of bonobos and their habitat with influencing, encouraging and assisting the regional community.

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