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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The satellite and the chimpanzee.

The satellite and the chimpanzee,this is how satellite data changed chimpanzee conservation efforts.Chimpanzees are an endangered species and scientists and conservationists are turning to the NASA-US Geological Survey Landsat satellites to help bolster their efforts to preserve their forest homes. Approximately 345,000 or fewer chimpanzees remain in the wild, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a substantial decline from the more than two million that existed a hundred years ago. Humans' closest genetic cousins, chimpanzees are an endangered species and scientists and conservationists are turning to the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat satellites to help bolster their efforts to preserve their forest homes. A joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey or USGS, the Landsat series of satellites has provided a continuous record of Earth's land use for 44 years. Images are available cost-free to the public. NASA satellite data gives an understanding of what it means to be a chimp by overlaying distribution of the habitat with the chimpanzee behavior and ranging data. Unlike maps that don't show the chimpanzees' habitat side-by-side with human activities, in Landsat imagery, both scientists and the villagers could see the direct result of various land uses -- farming and logging for example -- and how they shaped the surrounding terrain and forests. When deforestation happens, important ecological functions and services are lost which impacts both chimps and people, the chimpanzees lose feeding and nesting grounds, and it is very difficult for the territorial animals to shift their home range to another location. People lose local forest resources like honey or specific valuable tree species, as well as suffer alterations of the local water cycle that make erosion and flash flooding new problems. The satellite images were a game changer for improving local conservation efforts by using science and data to plan and monitor .