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Discover, Learn, Take Action! Quiz, puzzles, and a lot more fun inside!!

Created and published by Stichting Nature for Kids Copyright 速 2013. In connection with U.N.I.T.E. for the Environment, The Kasiisi Project and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in chief & production: Dagmar van Weeghel * Editor * Design & Lay out: Albrecht Design Illustrators: Marlies van der Wel, Mieke Driessen Photography: Andrew Bernard, * R onan Donovan, Richard Bergl, Martha Robbins,*Dagmar van Weeghel, Mark Edwards, David R. Mills & Panthera, Cleve Hicks


THE - Great Ape Superhero -PROMISE! t Ape Are you ready to become a Grea m Fish & Superhero just like me: Ajani fro ws! Greens Village? That is great ne

and learn the Great Ape Just fill in your name on the left your passion and your voice Promise by heart. Remember: have to help the Great are the most effective tools you re The Promise with others Apes! So make sure that you sha a poem out of the words, as well! You can make a song or om to encourage others or you can hang it up in the classro brations in your village. perform The Promise during cele proud! If we all work Whatever you do- make me ngs happen. together we can make big thi

Wherever you live, it’s important that you grow up to become the next generation of environmental stewards. The best way to protect our environment in the future is for you to grow up with a love for Mother Earth! This Great Ape -Education through Entertainment -program with fun films, supporting materials and activities will do just that. We’ll show you how to save the Great Apes, the gorillas, the chimpanzees, the bonobo’s, all our forest cousins..and we will help you do it! The activities you will find in this magazine will suggest fun ways for you to help the world we share, become a “greener” and healthier place for both yourself and the Great Apes.

You can Discover, Know, Learn, and Take Action yourselves. Enjoy!


By Michelle Slavin

What is Habitat Loss? Habitat is a particular area used as a home by great apes (and all living things!) it is where they get shelter, water, food and other things they need to survive. Chimpanzees live in habitats ranging from savannah-woodlands to tropical forests and gorillas live in tropical forests. When a habitat is no longer able to act as a home and support the great apes we call that “habitat loss”. Great apes, just like you, need a habitat. They need a place to sleep, to eat and to have children—even to play! If they do not have those things they cannot survive!

Chimpanzees have a wider variety of suit-

to starve or unable to have more offspring.

able habitats to live in so are somewhat

In serious cases, different groups of great

adaptable, but gorillas need very specific

apes may fight over habitat and end up

habitat which makes them very vulnerable

killing one another!

to habitat loss. Some studies show that in the last 15 years have lost about 47% of their

Habitat degradation means that ecosystems

habitat while chimpanzees have on average

are disrupted by things like pollution, inva-

lost about 14% of their habitat. Habitat loss

sive species and dams, leaving ecosystems

is one of the leading causes of declining

unable to support great apes.

great ape populations throughout Africa and there are three ways it can happen: destruc-

environment which can also lead to habi-

Habitat destruction happens when people

Why does Habitat Loss Occur?

completely destroy an ecosystem, cutting

There are many things that contribute to

Similarly, often times the more impoveris-

down entire forests, filling in wetlands and

habitat loss: agriculture, development,

hed communities are, the more likely they

burning savannah grasslands are just a few

mining, palm plantations, climate change,

are to engage in habitat destruction which


poverty and lack of education.

brings money in the short-term but can be

Habitat fragmentation occurs when parts

The increased demand for wood (for con-

of ecosystems are destroyed, leaving small

struction, firewood and charcoal), land for

“island” ecosystems left. Roads, homes

agriculture (both for subsistence and large-

Do you see the common factor in the drivers

and other developments are often causes

scale plantations, especially palm oil) and

of habitat loss?! It’s us, we are competing for

of habitat fragmentation. It may seem like

development (homes, roads and shops),

land use with our cousins, the great apes!

you are conserving by not destroying an

and minerals have resulted in major defore-

The human population of the world is gro-

entire ecosystem but when an ecosystem is

station and bush burning in great ape habi-

wing quickly and as more people enter this

fragmented great apes often cannot reach

tats. The less education a person has the less

world the greater demand there is for space

breeding or foraging grounds, leaving them

informed choices they make regarding the

and natural resources.

tion, fragmentation and degradation.

tat destruction from lack of understanding.

devastating in the long-term-both environ-


mentally and financially.

ade large can quickly degr re peomo d More an produce which to st r re de fo or of in s area e forest and burning th becoming a ple are cutting families. This is eir th d an s lve eir crops th ow gr en th food for themse clear the forest le ed to op rc Pe fo . e lem ar ob big pr d then they . riod of time, an uce enough food od pr n’t ca for a short pe ey th e us ca be er s ov rm fa start abandon their r location and will ve on to anothe on the forests So . ds They have to mo lan st re fo w s. ne g rm in fa rn w bu ne cutting and space left for there will be no disappear and

rn Agriculture Slash and Bu then can’t recover.

What can YOU do to help prevent great ape habitat loss? You might be wondering why you should care about the great apes’ habitat loss so here are three words for you: Everything Is Connected! Our world is connected-sometimes in very obvious ways and sometimes in very subtle ways. The fact is, the great apes are our cousins and we need similar things to survive if they disappear because they lose their habitat we humans may not live very well ourselves. There are many things you can do to help stop habitat loss in your community. To begin with,



gging means cutting of lar remove for sa ge trees in na le as timber. tural forests Large areas of destroyed, bo to th legally and forest are be illegally. Logg ing harm to the fo ing can lead to rest because further poachers are into the fore ab st using path s and roads cr le to travel deeper eated by the loggers.

deforestation and bush burning by: * * * * * * *

For every tree you must cut, plant three more in its place. Grow trees specifically for firewood in your compound so you do not need to go to National Parks, forests or swamps to obtain firewood. Use fuel efficient stoves instead of charcoal cookers or open fires. Do not engage in charcoal making. Re-use timber products in construction when possible. Do not burn savannah grasslands. Build Keyhole Gardens (you will find an instruction sheet further (up in this magazine)in your compound to decrease the need for agriculture land elsewhere.


Find alternative income generating activities such as bee keeping, goat rearing and craft making.

stay in school! The more educated you are, the better choices you can make for yourself and for the great apes. Educate yourself and share what you know with your friends and family. Below are a variety of other things you can do to help the great apes keep their homes.

Slow down the human population growth rate by: • Complete your education first • Wait to get married and have a family • When you are old enough to have a family; practice family planning

DID YOU KNOW? * One group of chimpanzees (20 to 130 individuals) needs 6 to 15 square km to survive.

*The leading cause of great ape habitat loss is increasing human needs (human population growth!). *Habitat loss means that an area of land or water is no longer suitable for a plant or animal to live in *because their needs (shelter, water, food, breeding, etc.) cannot be met. apes often use their habitat as a pharmacy—locating herbs to use as medicines when they are ill. *Great When wild animals lose their homes, there will be more human- wildlife conflicts. The forest is *shrinking, human population is growing. One group of gorillas (5 to 60 individuals) needs about 10 to 40 square kilometers to survive.



This is a Real Gori lla

Peter Kabano


Peter Kabano was born and raised in Uganda where he received all his childhood and secondary education. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology at Makerere University in 2008, Peter made the choice to leave Kampala where he lived with his family and head to Bwindi in remote south western Uganda to embark on a career in biodiversity conservation. Though many people could not understand why he wanted to move away from the city, Peter wanted to pursue his dream. He had a humble start as a volunteer without a pay, but was motivated by his desire to be a part of Uganda’s conservation community. Through his work, Peter is helping to save Uganda’s gorillas.

Tell us about a day in the life of a mountain gorilla research assistant in Bwindi National Park? I wake up early in the morning usually to the sound of insect hisses, chanting birds or a L’hoest monkey dashing over my roof. I ready myself with a heavy energy boosting meal, strap my bag and shoes, and head out to join up with the gorilla trackers. We set off to where we left the gorillas the day before and then track them following the trails they left behind to their current spot. It usually takes us about one and a half hours to get to them. This exercise keeps me more fit and healthy than an all office job, although I get some two days a week in the office working. My work primarily has been a collaborative partnership with Uganda Wildlife Authority during the process of habituating gorillas to the presence of humans. I worked with the rangers to observe the gorillas change of behavior to a point where they are tolerant of tourists and not too shy to run from us.

What is your fondest memory of observing the gorillas? Well the first sight is always the best moment and for that reason I would recommend them as a ‘must see’. Seeing them get along as a family with the females, the silver-


back and infants and how they all can play roles similar to humans is a good example of how close and similar we are to them. Their sizes are just so unbelievable and worth seeing. One other memorable time I had was once when I saw two juveniles playing and what they seemed to be doing was very much similar to a dance where they kept spinning round and round in circles and at intervals coming face to face at the end of the spin. And for me this seemed very similar to what we do as little children. The funny part was that they came to me and solicited me to join them! I kept my distance though and always backed away when they came closer.

Has your work affected your view of humans? Having observed gorillas and comparing them to humans, human life can be quite challenging though rewarding. I would like to think of gorillas as relaxed peaceful gentle and respectful animals overall. Humans generally are unaware of the consequences our actions might pose to our future and are never considerate of what is naturally existing in the wild. Keeping this in mind, not so many people know or care to know about gorillas or really care if they cease to exist and it is important for us to change this bad mentality.

What is the habitat like in Bwindi for the Gorillas? Has their habitat changed in the last 10 years and if so, why? Their habitat exists at the mercy of an effort by government, various organizations and scientists to strongly protect the area. Decades ago, much of this habitat had been destroyed for agriculture and timber, but government put a stop to this by evicting everyone from what is currently the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park has a size of only 330Km2, which is a very small space for large animals like gorillas.

What are the main challenges that you encounter protecting their habitat? Because the park is close to the community, people illegally encroach on some parts of the forest, set fires and also enter to set traps for antelopes. Fires and encroachment affect the gorillas because they destroy their food and home, making affected areas unsuitable for the gorillas. Also, when traps are put in the forest, gorillas could unknowingly get trapped and receive injuries. Illegal entry in the forest by humans can also introduce the risk of spreading human diseases to the small gorilla population. If one gorilla gets sick, the entire family could be affect and also the small population of only 400 gorillas.

a large expanse of land to obtain enough good quality food. Remember they are mountain gorillas meaning they require a specific cold environment similar to mountains in which they can also find the specific kinds of food. Think about it, whereas as a human can survive in a desert or in the arctic region, can a gorilla survive in these habitats and get all the food it needs?

Thank you Peter, one last question: What would Gorillas say to humans if they could speak? I guess they would say, ‘keep a distance away from me and my forest home, human, but just close enough to keep an eye on me so you can help me and my fellow gorillas survive.

If gorillas are so much like us humans, why are they critically endangered while humans dominate the globe? Gorillas do not give birth that often - we are talking about one birth in four and a half years and the chances for the little ones surviving are much lower than a human baby. In four years a female human could bear four children. Gorillas also require large quantities of food (may be 10 times times as we do) in different varieties to maintain their body size and energy requirments.They would require



Passing neighbours fields




Gorillas in fields!


7. What do these MP people want?



looking for the gorillas


We found our friends


13. We encountered this MP girl again


We went to tell her chief about the gorillas

Chimps: this is dangerous! 19. BUT By avoiding eye contact...


... Keeping still ... stil ...

Nantale, the MP girl, told us what was going on



he MP people steal everyone’s resources! We had to warn the authorities

15. But.... What a sorry village

21. ... And small... they calmed down

27. Eye to eye with a live gorilla. His way of farming uses everyone’s land and resources up

31. We got stopped by authorities

32. We confronted the MP chief


Plant new trees 37. The MP people were taught to improve



Change crops regularly


But in our village

4. I hurried to warn everybody

5. I witnessed a strange meeting

6. Our chief arguing with MP chief

Back in the village


Tinka the head ranger


informed me on gorillas


When while fishing

The chief got angry

Then, the next morning...


He set his men on us


We fled into the forbidden forest, where we slept


What beautifull animals


BUT THEN We discovered

24. How the MP people destroy the forest


We avoided eye contact, kept ourselves small


We backed way slowly



The MP chief was arrested


Stop fighting...


The Gorilla backed off


34. That’s why the apes come to us


Use chicken manure or cow dung to fertilize

36. The apes got their home back


All’s well that ends well

The Natural Habitat of the Great Apes:

‘ ‘ t s e r o F n i ‘‘ The Ra

All species of great apes are (critically) endangered; their continued existence depends on the conservation of the tropical rainforests. But rainforest are also super important for humans. Rainforests are often called the lungs of the planet for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide and for producing oxygen, upon which all humans and animals depend for survival. Rainforests also stabilize climate, house incredible amounts of plants and wildlife, and produce nourishing rainfall all around the planet. So how does it all work in the rainforest? Well, the rainforest is vertically divided into four different layers. Each layer has an important role to play in and its own community of plants and animals.

The four layers are: The Emergent Layer: The emergent layer contains the tallest trees (sometimes up to 50 meters high!) in the rainforest. The trees in this layer produce thick leaves so these can retain moisture and withstand heat. This layer is also the habitat of eagles, storks, monkeys, butterflies, bats, and snakes.

The Canopy: The rainforest canopy is the most dense layer. The trees and their leaves in the canopy block out most of the sunlight. But the leaves and trees barely touch. The canopy is home to many animals that seek protection from predators on the forest floor.

The Understory: This layer retains the most moisture and has large leaves. It therefore thrives with life. It is home to a number of species ranging from birds, snakes, and lizards, to insects.

The Floor: This bottom layer only receives about 2% of the sunlight that falls on the Canopy. Due to this lack of light it is mostly clear of vegetation and contains only a few plants. The floor is also littered with fallen branches, leaves, and animal waste/ dropping. Due to the warm and humid conditions these disappear quickly. Fungi, insects, and moss can be found in this layer.



IMPORTANT! The trees in the forest and around us are extremely import ant. For humans, for Great Apes, for al l living things. It’s not too hard to be lieve that without trees we humans wou ld also not exist on this beautiful plan et!

ary H e re is a sh o r t su m m p o r ta n t! a re im o f reaso n s w h y treeit,ewes couldn’t exist if there were no


ygen Let’s fac en in a season Trees produce ox uces as much oxyg od pr s ve lea of l ful e ts as a huge filter trees. A mature tre d the forest also ac An ar. ye e on in as 10 people inhale we breathe! that cleans the air ter er pollutants can en us chemicals and oth ero ng ge Da an il ch so e lly th tua Trees clean llutants or ac re these harmful po sto ls, r he ica eit em n ch ca m es far the soil. Tre sewage and s forms. Trees filter . les rm ms ha ea o str int o t int tan ff the pollu water runo al wastes and clean im an of ts ec eff the reduce be Flash flooding can



avy rainfall water ru

Trees slow down he

* * * * *

reduced by trees.

rbing pollutants.

anse the air by abso

Trees help cle Trees clean the air

at a

ing in cooling is wh

viding shade result

ol Pro Trees shade and co tree is known for.

g o reduce the dryin tion in wind can als . ce pla in soil keep important top getation and help effect on soil and ve ks away tree absorbs and loc produce its food, a To on rb a carbon ca is t re es sto for Trees and leaves. A ) in the wood, roots O2 ests/ (C for e If . xid es dio uc od on carb carbon as it pr n lock up as much ere. ca t ph tha os a atm are r e ou rag in sto nging around ha 2 CO be ll wi re trees disappear, the

reaks A reduc Trees act as windb


LAUGH OUT LOUD!! It’s great fun in the Forest. Many animals are very funny and joke around all day. Look at these ones; they are real COMEDIANS!

Fill in a text yourself in this picture and hang it up in your classroom. Ask your classmates to do the same. Who wrote the funniest lines?

DO THE WIGGLE! Can you make your body into...

... the shape of a Tree?

Pretend your feet are the trees roots, your stomach is the trees trunk and your arms are the trees branches.

> Can you WIGGLE your body like a tree in the wind? > Can you shake your arms like tree branches in the rain? 12

Chimpanzees and Gorillas are found in 21 countries in Africa.

Where do you live? (draw your location on

the map)

Chimpanzees gorillas

Where do they live:

Chimpanzees Angola Burundi Burkina Faso Cameroon Central African Republic Democratic Republic of Congo Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea Bissau

Gorillas Ivory Coast Liberia Mali Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Senegal Sierra Leone Sudan Tanzania Togo Uganda

Angola Cameroon Central African Republic Democratic Republic of Congo Equitorial Guinea Gabon Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Uganda


s e i t i v Acti MES & GA

Importance of forward facing eyes (“Depth Perception Activity�) We are all primates. Primates have forward facing eyes. Forward-facing eyes allow primates to judge distance. Here is a fun activity to test this! 1. Team up with a friend or classmate. Stand across

from each other and face each other.

2. Choose an abject like a small ball or a pencil. 3. Play toss with the object, catching with one hand. Throw the object underhand

and do not throw at your friends head!

4. Each partner tosses and catches 5 times. Remember or record how many catches and how many misses. 5. Now cover one of your eyes and repeat the tossing. Record how many catches and how many misses.

Can you judge the distance with only one eye?

ARE YOU A PRIMATE TOO? Most primates have the characteristics listed below. Do you have these characteristics, too?


1. Do you have eyes on the front of your face (binocular vision)? 2. Do you have a flatter face (shorter snout) than other mammals like cows and dogs? 3. Can you move all your fingers and toes? 4. Do you have a big brain? 5. Can you grasp objects with your hands and feet? 6. Can your thumbs touch your other fingers (opposable thumb)? 7. Do you have nails instead of claws? 8. Do you have pads on the tips of your fingers and toes which are sensitive to touch? 9. Do you see colours? 10. Are you active during the day? 11. Do you eat vegetables and meat? 12. Do you like to groom yourself?

re a primate too? a u o y k in th u o y o D

Circle Yes o

r No

q Yes q No q q q q

Yes Yes Yes Yes

q q q q

No No No No

q Yes q No q Yes q No q q q q q

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

q q q q q

No No No No No

NATURE JOURNAL Take a walk near your school or around your school grounds. Choose one tree that you like. Look closely at the color, texture, bark, leaves, surrounding soil, and the creatures that live on and around the tree.

Let’s explore its parts: • R  oots are like the trees feet. They keep the tree firmly in the ground (just like your feet keep you standing up strong Roots also help the tree soak up water. • Branches are like the trees arms. • Bark is like the trees skin. It keeps the tree protected and covered all over (just like your skin protects you). But what is the difference? (Describe how each one feels). Feel your skin. Now feel the trees bark. • Can you put your own feet near the trees roots? • Can you put your own arms near the trees branches? • Can you draw a picture of your tree and all its parts? You can draw on paper or with your finger in the dirt!

Do you How can know how old the tre you fin e is? ………… d out? ………… ………









s on th tivity focuse n of a tree (Note: this ac rm observatio -te ng Lo . ks changes ee w al st on ju tree in nce the seas rie pe ex to u will allow yo l!) dergo as wel that trees un








m of th




e botto

w In the next fe rvation idea: se b d o an an ee is tr e Her your rent going back to weeks keep e tree at diffe th to k ac b e oon, m n o , C g . in observe it as early morn me back ch su , ay d e th co times of ult). Also ions. ht (with an ad eather condit dusk and nig w t n re fe if d nder ns the same to the tree u d what remai an es g or cool? an ch What oudy, warm, cl , ny n su y, in n of a when it is ra e observatio





e answ er at th






Find th













is page




SCIENTIST (But taking a core sample of a tree to determine it’s age is prohibited! )

Make a drawing of your tree, record your thoughts in a Journal and discuss your data with your teachers and classmates. Do you observe any changes in the tree? Are the colors changing? Is it losing leaves, bark or branches? • Does the tree provide food or shelter for animals or insects? • Record weather, time, and temperature each time you make an observation • Observe color of leaves as they change • Count number of leaves on a specific branch until none left • Give detailed description of leaves • Describe some possible accidents that could happen to the tree, caused by nature and by humans • Discuss how we depend on trees and why we should conserve them Write questions about things you would like to know about trees. Explain to someone else about your investigation. And come up or write a story about your tree and ask to read it in the classroom! Write a poem and your words don’t have to be in straight lines across the paper.

TIP: INSPIRE OTHERS! Next time you and your family are out

collecting firewood or going for a walk in the bush, see if you can find any tree stumps and count the rings to find out how old the tree is.


(You can tell how old a tree is by counting the number of rings inside the tree trunk. Each year a tree grows new wood cells make a new ring in the tree trunk. Now for obvious reasons we do not want you to cut down this tree! So to find out how old the tree is without cutting it down you can look for dead branches around the tree as well and count the rings on the inside. A Tree scientist can take a core sample from a living tree. They are allowed to push a sharp tool into a living tree in order to take out a sample of the wood, all the way from one side to the other. This will hurt/damage the tree but the tree will be able to heal itself from this ‘wound’ over time!)





Always wanted to know what it’s like to be a gorilla?

1. Carefully cut out around the mask. 2. Cut out eye holes. You may need to make adjustments depending on your size and eye spacing. 3. M  ake two small holes (where each dot is indicated) where you can attach rope or some elastic or bamboo string. Tie off at inside of mask. 4. Cover your face: Hello Gorilla!

1/ Lost in the Forest / Habitat Loss  

Educational Magazine complementing The Nature for Kids- film series of "Ajani's Great Ape Adventures".

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