Earth  ID: 12544

Landsat Lends Chimps a Hand

From space, what used to be lush chimpanzee habitat in the rainforests of central Africa is now being threatened. Between 1972 and 1999, people have cut down significant swaths of forests southeast of Gombe National Park in Tanzania. As the forests disappeared so did the chimpanzee habitat, and the chimp population has been struggling. Data from NASA’s Landsat missions are helping scientists at the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) use satellite imagery to observe chimpanzee habitats inside and outside of Gombe. In 2005, JGI started a forest monitoring program in partnership with the local community, and in 2009, equipped villagers with GPS-enabled smartphones and tablets to report their observations of potential threats to local forests and wildlife. The imagery from NASA’s Landsat missions and the observations of local citizens pushed Tanzania to develop the Village Forest Reserves, a taskforce created to manage natural resources. Watch the video below to learn more.

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Story Credits

Lead Visualizer/Animator:
Cindy Starr (Global Science and Technology, Inc.)

Trent L. Schindler (USRA)

Lead Producers:
Corinne Nakamura-Rybak (Metropolitan Group)
Patrick Lynch (NASA/GSFC)
Jefferson Beck (USRA)

Lead Scientist:
Lilian Pintea (The Jane Goodall Institute)

Lead Writer:
Lacey Young (Intern)

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