Tag Archives: Students

Dr. Jane Goodall Celebrates 55 Years of Pioneering Research with Wild Chimpanzees

Dr. Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots-Kenya scale-up a nationwide youth-focused Conservation Leadership Champions initiative personally launched by Dr. Jane Goodall herself on 14 July, the same date she arrived on Africa on Kenyan soil 58 years ago on 14 July 1957. Her visit to Nairobi is to celebrate her two big milestones: her 55th Anniversary of setting up the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Research Station in Tanzania, and achieving her own 81st Birthday. The RootsAndShoots Conservation Leadership Champions initiative and Dr Jane Goodall's 81st birthday were held in a Gala Event on Monday 13th July at the Serena Nairobi Hotel.

Dr. Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots-Kenya scale-up a nationwide youth-focused Conservation Leadership Champions initiative personally launched by Dr. Jane Goodall herself on 14 July, the same date she arrived on Africa on Kenyan soil 58 years ago on 14 July 1957.

On July 14, 2015 WildlifeDirect CEO Paula Kahumbu joined Dr.Jane Goodall as she celebrated 55 years of pioneering research with chimpanzees at Gombe National park in Tanzania. Her research study has become the longest running wild chimpanzee study that now generations of new researchers are continuing, taking it even further, into the world of wild chimpanzee conservation. In these last 55 years of the study, more than 165 thousand hours of data have been collected through observations of more than 320 named chimpanzees in the park. These data have yielded more than 430 academic papers and theses and supported 39 graduate students in either doctoral- or masters-level studies, thanks to Jane Goodall’s first adventure into the world of Gombe’s chimpanzees. After 55 years of research with these chimpanzees, researchers in the park have witnessed and recorded entire lifespans of individuals in Gombe. These chimpanzees have been observed from infancy to adulthood and in some cases even old age and death. ‘’These observations have shown us so much about chimpanzees’ complex social lives, personalities and intelligence’’, Jane Goodall said. ‘’From the first discovery of chimpanzees using tools to “fish” for termites, to maternal care behavior, to territoriality, hunting and meat eating, the behaviors that the Gombe chimpanzees have shown researchers are diverse and have shown us how similar they are to humans. Perhaps the most important thing that these observations have taught us though is how much chimpanzees are worth protecting’’ she added. The research, is as vibrant as ever, and now plays an important role in helping people understand chimpanzees and also informing the Jane Goodall Institute’s conservation efforts in Western Tanzania, and even in some ways across the entire chimpanzee range. Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. Her great hope is that the work at Gombe will continue to contribute both to society understanding of these amazing beings and to the survival of wild chimpanzee populations in Africa. WildlifeDirect would like to congratulate her for this great achievement.

Princeton University Students in the wild

Its that time of the year when WildlifeDirect goes back to school – we have just spent ten days running a field course for Princeton undergraduates as part of their semester in Kenya. What have they been doing? Well, the 13 students will tell you about it through their own blogs which will appear right here on Baraza, as well as on Nairobi Park blog

Here are some photos to illustrate what we’ve been up to.


Students interviewing members of the local community in Olerai Conservancy with David Paramisia who was instrumental in setting up this far sighted approach to saving wildlife in the dispersal area from Nairobi National Park.

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John Solonka and Evelyn who work for The Wildlife Foundation talk to Princeton student Patty


Rangers in Olerai Conservancy – a new wildlife sanctuary. These rangers were trained by the Kenya Wildlife Service

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Most of the men were hundreds of kilometers away with the livestock so we interviewed mostly women. The women had unique perspectives on the future of wildlife in their areas.

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Kohei made friends with the local kids

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Interviewing Masai women was followed by song at this homestead.


Dino Martins of Dudu diaries assisted with the course and drew attention to the bugs in the ecosystem. A KWS ranger named Jacob accompanied us to ensure we were safe.

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Gettings stuck – nearly every day. To reach the National Park dispersal area we had to cross the Mbagathi (Empakasi) river.


Olerai conservancy allows pastoralists to graze herds of sheep and cattle in a controlled manner to ensure that wildlife can coexist with the livestock


Children in the villages were just as interested in us as we were in them

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Molly meets a baby elephant on our one day off

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Patty on the suspension bridge


Adjani measuring grass recovery after the drought in a livestock exclosure

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Morgan and Hillary assess grass condition outside the park which was rather overgrazed

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Erin and others cross the suspension bridge in Kitengela to cross a dangerous gorge to continue our vegetation sampling.


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