Chimpanzee "Tree Highways" May Save African Apes
In Guinea, West Africa, just 13 chimpanzees remain in a virtual island of trees near the Bossou village, an Oxford University zoologist told USA Today.
Zoologist Dora Biro explained that the fading colony is just three-and-a-half miles from a mountain range "full of chimpanzees" that could provide a continuous influx of new residents. The problem is, the groups are separated by a wide stretch of savanna that makes the journey too dangerous.
So since 1997, the Japanese biologists who established Bossou as one of the world's six sites for the long-term study of chimps in the wild have been working with Guinean researchers and local villagers to plant a corridor of trees across the savanna. The researchers hope the Green Corridor Project will re-establish the migration between the chimp populations.
"The trees still need to grow before they're at all passable for chimps," Biro told USA Today. "The idea is if this corridor does work, if the trees survive, it will give chimps access both in and out, and that could save the community."