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Jane Goodall Institute Celebrates Half Centenary

2010 marks a very special year for the Jane Goodall Institute and its founder. Fifty years ago, Jane first set foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in what is now Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, and began the research that would inspire thousands of primatologists and conservationists, even to this day. Her story is an amazing one, starting with her saving her earnings as a waitress to make the trip abroad. She arrived with only a notebook, a pair of binoculars, a self-taught knowledge of the natural world, and an amazing enthusiasm for the world’s creatures. It is incredible to look at the wealth of achievement that has come from this, and I believe Jane’s is the perfect story to illustrate that anything can be achieved if you are passionate and dedicated enough. Becoming involved in animal research, especially for the conservation of endangered species, should not be viewed as an opportunity only for those lucky enough to hold a doctorate or similar. It is a cause that should embrace all that love and believe in it. Everyone can contribute, on whatever level, all you need is a bit of determination!

Congratulations to Jane and everyone who has been involved in her amazing projects over the years. You have inspired me and many, many others.

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New Guards Challenge Loggers

A new scheme has been put into place in Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia, to help curb the massive illegal logging problem. The park covers 416,000 hectares and is home to 4000 Orangutans, 30 other mammal species, 260 bird species and 17 different reptiles.

A new network of guard posts has been set up to enable anyone heading up the river or into any of these watched areas to be stopped, checked ad turned away if they have no permission to be there. “These new guard post will protect a large area of the park that could otherwise be exposed to illegal activities,” said Ashley Leiman (OBE), director of the Orangutan Foundation. They are also cheap to run by western standards. Four guard posts funded by the Orangutan Foundation cost £800 per month and provide 11 local jobs. Continue reading