What are bonobos and why would they need a map? Well, although they are one of humankind’s closest living relatives, sharing 98.7% of their genetic code with us, they don’t have much use for maps themselves. The mission of saving them, however, does.
Creating a visually Impactful image to elevate awareness
Bonobos are primates and are often confused with the common chimpanzee. In fact, they used to be called pygmy chimpanzees until 1929, when they were classified as a separate species. Bonobos are distinguished by their long legs, pink lips, and hair that parts in the middle of their head. They are unique in the ape world in that they are the only ape species that forms female alliances to manage the social structure of their groups. “They also are the most peaceful of the great apes and usually solve tensions through loving gestures, sexual contact, and cooperation (bonoboproject.org)”.
“The Bonobo Project is a nonprofit organization that seeks to elevate the status and awareness of the endangered bonobo and coordinate activities to aid in the conservation of this uniquely matriarchal and peaceful great ape through public education and outreach (bonoboproject.org)”. They also raise critical funds for conservation efforts in several ways including their “I Bonobo You” campaign. There are only approximately 15,000 bonobos living in the wild and are an endangered species. Remarkably, they only live in one place on Earth, a part of the Congo Basin within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa. Because of conditions there, they are highly susceptible to hunting, deforestation, and disease.
Getting people engaged in a mission requires education. While people may know where the DRC is located, relatively few know where the Congo Basin is, or the size of the area it encompasses.
The Bonobo Project needed a map to use for presentations, displays, and handouts, that would illustrate the location of the Congo Basin in relation to the DRC. The map needed to show bonobo habitat as well as where the study populations are located, all while maintaining their brand recognition.
The result is a beautiful and unique map that shows the location of the Congo Basin in the DRC in Africa, and clearly highlights the national parks and reserves, and most importantly, specific bonobo habitat. Cities are plotted to show the bonobo’s proximity to human communities. The index is simple and easy to understand.
“It has assisted us tremendously!! We used it in our workshop back in Sept 2016 to show all of the participants clearly where the bonobo strongholds are and it is included in all of our power point presentations/talks in the community. We have printed it up and handed it out as well. It’s important for everyone to be on the same page when we talk about where bonobos exist (only in the Congo Basin of the DRC – very specific range). Thank you so much!! (Ashley Stone, President/Founder of The Bonobo Project )”
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