Nairobi — The apeAPP, an innovative mobile phone application that offers the public direct access to field projects that protect chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos in Africa and Asia, was launched today by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) 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."
The apeAPP includes content supplied by GRASP partners, including the African Wildlife Foundation (bonobos), The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (gorillas), the Orangutan Conservancy (orangutans) and the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project (chimpanzees).
"The world's great apes are at increasing risk for extinction due to the rising pet trade, deforestation, "The world's great apes are at increasing risk for extinction due to the rising pet trade, deforestation, and other threats," said Jef Dupain, director of the great apes program for African Wildlife Foundation. "The apeAPP is a wonderful way to bring people closer to great apes and show them both the challenges and successes that conservation groups experience in protecting them."
"We are proud to be a part of GRASP's apeAPP," said Clare Richardson, President and CEO of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. "We hope that by providing engaging media to users on-the-go, the app will help raise awareness about the threats faced by gorillas and other great apes. There are less than 900 mountain gorillas on the planet. By learning more about this charismatic primate and supporting conservation efforts like those of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and its partners, app users have the opportunity to make a difference to the survival of a species,"
The apeAPP will expand to include other partners and projects.
GRASP developed the apeAPP in partnership with i-Site.com, a Philadelphia-based software design company whose other clients include the National Football League, the (U.S.) National Dairy Council, Lego and Sprout. I-Site.com also created the i-Gorilla mobile phone application for the Virunga National Park.
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.