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Assirik Chimpanzee Research

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
14 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 02, at 11:00 PM EST
Project Owners


The Department of Anthropology at Purdue University is dedicated to protecting and managing chimpanzees in Senegal.

In 2015, our international team entered the vast savannas of Niokolo-Koba National Park in search of this endangered species. For the past few years, we have been tracking a group of elusive savanna chimpanzees to learn more about their adaptions to extremely hot and dry climates and the threats they face from habitat loss and climate warming. Today, we are asking for your help to continue our ground-breaking research. 

Will you please consider making a gift in support of our mission to protect chimpanzees?


Our international collaboration involves Dr. Stacy Lindshield of Purdue University, Dr. Papa Ibnou Ndiaye of Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), UCAD graduate students, the Direction des Parcs Nationaux (DPN), DPN park rangers, and field research assistants from the local area. We want future generations to appreciate the cultural, behavioral, and genetic diversity of humankind's closest living relatives. 

In order to continue our work, our team needs to purchase a four-wheel-drive vehicle that is in good condition for rugged terrain. All funds raised through this project will be used to rent or purchase a new vehicle that will provide safe and reliable transportation for our team. 

Without your support and due to poor road conditions within the national park, we will be forced to pause our critical research operations. 

Dr. Stacy Lindshield from the Department of Anthropology at Purdue



Chimpanzee Conservation

Chimpanzees in Senegal belong to the western subspecies (Pan troglodytes verus) and are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Conservation is a core component of the work we do because these great apes share many genetic, behavioral, and cultural traits with us. They are reservoirs of knowledge about the origins of human behavior. Our team contributes to Senegal's Chimpanzee Conservation Action Plan that assesses and monitors populations, evaluates genetic diversity and continuity among chimpanzee groups, and minimizes disease transmission risk from humans to chimpanzees.

Building Research Capacity in Senegal

Supporting local scientists and research capacity in Senegal are core components of this project. Drs. Ndiaye and Lindshield have supported four graduate students and their thesis research projects in the park. The project recruited and retained a permanent field team comprised of local experts in scientific methods and field ecology. To sustain these efforts, the project supports scientific methods and risk management training, provides stipends and work uniforms to park rangers, and donates equipment, such as camera traps, to the park. The project supports training and physical facilities development in Niokolo-Koba to build waste management infrastructure and improve working conditions for field team members.

Savanna Chimpanzees

Savanna chimpanzees are exceptional because–unlike most great apes (bonobos, forest chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans)–they don’t need swaths of lush forest to survive. Project team members are leveraging their expertise in ecology and anthropology, as well as remote technologies such as camera traps, to discover how chimpanzees are able to withstand extreme heat and water shortages.