The Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI) is a U.S. based non-profit dedicated to the survival of the highly endangered bonobo, the closest primate relative to humans. Found only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), bonobos (Pan paniscus) inhabit the heart of the Congo Basin, Africa’s largest rainforest.
Over the past 10 years, BCI’s efforts have produced a remarkable string of accomplishments. When they began in 2001-2002, as the Congo War was winding down, no one even knew for certain where bonobos existed. Since then, in cooperation with their Congolese partners, they have made local agreements to protect bonobos at a dozen strategic sites which together comprise the Bonobo Peace Forest, a constellation of community-based reserves and protected areas spanning nearly 9 M acres. Anchoring the Peace Forest are two officially designated protected areas, the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve (1.2 M acres) and the Sankuru Nature Reserve (7.6 M acres). These two reserves alone cover an area larger than the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined.
I have been helping them organize their mapping files, as well as update boundary lines, map out survey results, and create more interactive maps for their new website.