The illegal commercial bushmeat trade is the biggest threat to the great apes and other primates in central Africa. Addressing such a trade is challenging and requires the efforts of governments, donors and NGOs working together.

We have been involved in primate conservation since the late 1990s, when the critical situation facing the primates and other animals of the forests of central Africa became widely publicised. Although progress has been made, there is still much work to be done in order to prevent some of the most charismatic species from becoming extinct.

Primate rescue centres

We support Ape Action Africa (AAA) in caring for more than 250 young primates, orphaned by the illegal bushmeat trade.

We work with AAA on on the front line of great ape protection by rescuing primates whose parents have been killed by poachers, and re-homing them at the Mefou National Park - the largest Gorilla sanctuary in Africa. The 1044 hectare park is currently home to around 17 young gorillas, 90 chimpanzees and over 150 monkeys.

By providing AAA with financial support as well a UK base, facilities, and advice and training in veterinary, animal care, and education programmes we help secure ape rescue efforts.

Gorillas and chimpanzees are being hunted, killed and sold for meat. No one really knows the scale of the killing but, in just one district of Cameroon in the western part of Africa, an estimated 800 gorillas are shot for meat every year. To add to the horror, when the adults are killed their young are taken and sold as pets, but they often die of starvation or disease in a few days.

Gorillas and chimpanzees are protected species, but the bushmeat trade is the biggest threat that they face. 90% of the chimpanzee population has already been lost, and, without major conservation efforts, it is feared that all the apes in Cameroon could be wiped out within the next few decades.

If we don’t do anything then bushmeat hunting at the present levels will lead to extinction within the next few decades. It will also lead to a humanitarian crisis as the impact of over-hunting affects people too. The sources of food, medicine and livelihood that indigenous communities depend upon are being severely depleted.

Dja engagment and support projects

The Dja Biosphere Reserve is a Classs II Protected Area and World Heritage Site.BCSF has joined forces the Living Earth Foundation to work closely with local communities to alleviate pressure on this site of World importance.

Our long-term aim is to help local people help themselves to a more secure and sustainable future.