Predicting Capacity for African Ape Sanctuaries

Planning Care for Decades to Come

Every year, primate rescue centers throughout Africa are flooded with chimpanzee orphans, primarily victims of the bushmeat trade. When adults are killed for meat, surviving infants are often offered for sale as pets. Many are confiscated by law enforcement and taken to sanctuaries for care. 

This project focused on using historic data to project future demographic patterns for 11 Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) member facilities. The research helped individual sanctuaries—as well as PASA as a whole—predict their carrying capacity for chimpanzees.  The resulting data provided sanctuaries a roadmap for long-term resource, infrastructure and financial planning.


Lisa Faust, Ph.D., is Lincoln Park Zoo's vice president of conservation and science  

Lisa Faust, Ph.D.
Vice President of Conservation and Science


Stephen Ross, Ph.D.
Director, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes