The Orangutan Conservancy is excited to be part of the new apeAPP program launched this week by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP). GRASP is part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The apeAPP is an innovative mobile phone application that offers the public direct access to field projects that protect orangutans, chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos in Asia and Africa. The program was kicked off on Thursday at the Mobile East Africa 2014 conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
The apeAPP is available free to download from both the iTunes store and Google Play. Through exciting, colorful graphics, photo galleries, high-definition videos, and regular updates, the apeAPP offers users the opportunity to learn more about these endangered species – their habitats, food preferences, survival threats, and fun facts – and includes a link for easy donations to support favorite projects.
“The apeAPP was designed to bring modern conservation up to speed – that’s why we refer to it as ‘Mobile Conservation on the Go,’” said Doug Cress, Programme Coordinator of GRASP. “The apeAPP gives the general public and insider’s view of great ape conservation, but it’s also meant to introduce these important projects to audience they might otherwise never reach.”
GRASP ambassador Dr. Richard Leakey agreed.
“It’s important to engage the public as closely as possible in the battle to conserve great apes, and the apeAPP is a timely step forward,” he said. “Now, private citizens can track field projects, follow specific apes, and support the work they find most compelling — all with the push of a button. The apeAPP literally puts great ape conservation in their hands.”
Along with the Orangutan Conservancy, the apeAPP includes content supplied by GRASP partners, including the African Wildlife Foundation (bonobos), The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (gorillas) and the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project (chimpanzees).
“The Orangutan Conservancy is honored to be involved with GRASP’s apeApp,” stated Norm Rosen, President of OC. “Increasing awareness and providing people with a mobile application that puts them on the cutting edge of primate information offers a wonderful opportunity for helping to improve the plight of orangutans and other great apes across the globe. Our studies have shown that the number of orangutans left in the wild to be only about 40,000, so time is of the essence if we are going to give orangutans a fighting chance for their survival. Reaching the public with this innovative app will spread the message of conservation faster, further and more effectively than ever before.”
GRASP developed the apeAPP in partnership with i-Site.com, a Philadelphia-based software design company. GRASP is the only species-specific conservation in the United Nations (U.N.), and comprises 95 nations, research institutions, U.N. agencies, conservation organizations and private supporters. GRASP is committed to the survival of chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas and bonobos, as well as their habitats, across Africa and Asia.
This short YouTube video shows how apeAPP works.