Bird’s eye view aids conservation

British anthropologist Jane Goodall paid a visit to DigitalGlobe Inc.’s headquarters in Longmont earlier this month for a private meeting to recognize DigitalGlobe’s continued contribution to the Jane Goodall Institute’s conservation efforts.

Back in 2007, she paid a visit here when her institute began using DigitalGlobe’s high-resolution images taken from its QuickBird satellite to make conservation decisions. The photographs provided information about the status of chimpanzee habitats and where and how people use their land in Tanzania and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

With the aid of satellite imagery, the institute has mapped human structures, footpaths, farms and forests that have been used in village land-use plans in the USAID-funded Greater Gombe Ecosystem Program. Satellite imagery also has been used to map tree canopies for assessing chimpanzee food availability and feeding behavior research in Gombe National Park. In remote places such as the Masito-Ugalla Ecosystem, satellite imagery is used to explore large swaths of terrain.

Goodall established the institute in 1977. Today, the institute is a global organization supporting the research at Gombe in addition to many other programs.

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