HOPE Report No.36 2004-11-03

HOPE 5th International Lecture

Date: Oct 27, 2004
Place: PRI
Title: The Regenstein Center for African Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo and the AZA Chimpanzee Species Survival PlanR : Two programs working for chimpanzee welfare and conservation.


Stephen R. Ross
Behavioral Research Specialist, Lincoln Park Zoo
Chair, Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan

Advancing the science of animal care and conservation requires careful planning but also progressive effort. In this talk, I discuss two programs affecting chimpanzees in the United States: a new state-of-the-art ape facility at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois and a revitalized national population management program overseeing the 300 chimpanzees living in accredited North American Zoos.

The Regenstein Center for African Apes opened in July, 2004 with a mission to not only be a progressive facility for animal care and husbandry, but also provide excellent educational experience for visitors and research opportunities for resident and visiting scientists. The exhibits combine aesthetic naturalism to inspire a conservation ethic in visitors with structural functionalism to encourage species-typical patterns of behaviors in the apes. Design features such as soft mulch substrates, adjoining indoor and outdoor yards, and a selection of animal-activated devices provide the animals with choices and control over their environment thereby promoting animal wellbeing.

On a national level, the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP) provides leadership for the 40 participating institutions housing chimpanzees in the United States. Since its inception in 1989, the SSP has grown from a primary focus on population management to a diversified scope of concern on issues from the promotion of species-typical groups (larger, age-stratified, multimale groups) to researching the effect of adolescent male aggression on social group dynamics. The SSP is committed to being an advocate for chimpanzees in zoos worldwide as well as wild populations in Africa and encourages global collaboration with other management programs as a primary means to achieve these goals.

Chimpanzee SSP logo

Regenstein Center for African Apes, Lincoln Park Zoo

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