About the Cover Image

Tanzania’s Gombe National Park

Gombe National Park in Tanzania is probably best known for Dr. Jane Goodall’s research of the area’s chimpanzees. This issue of Imaging Notes features the use of remote sensing to further the Jane Goodall Institute’s pursuit of chimpanzee and biodiversity conservation against land degradation and conversion of forests to farmland.

Established in 1968, eight years after Goodall began her work with chimpanzees, Gombe National Park is accessible only by boat and foot. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, 15 km north of the town of Kigoma, the 35-square-kilometer (about 28 square mile) park is home to less than 90 chimpanzees, a decrease from an estimated 150 in the 1960s. Steep slopes plummet from the park’s 1600-m high escarpment down toward deep ravines that drain from the ridges of the valleys.

The use of remote sensing technologies to assess deforestation and land development impeding on the park began in 2000. Since then, the technology has proven to be vital to the conservation efforts of such organizations as the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), JGI’s Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education Project (TACARE), and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA). The cover story providing details and imagery begins on page 16. The cover image was collected by GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite on July 31, 2000. On the cover, north is oriented to the right.

The cover shows the entire Gombe National Park dominated by forests and miombo woodlands along the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika and bordered inland by the Rift Valley escarpment, with village lands to the east (at the bottom of the image) dominated by oil palm plantations and farmland.

The photo on the cover of Dr. Jane Goodall and Pasa, an orphan chimpanzee at JGI Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda, is courtesy of JGI Uganda.

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