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The name Pandrillus comes from the genus for the species Mandrillus, and the Latin word for "all", Pan. The mission of Pandrillus encompasses all drills - those in captivity and the wild. Pandrillus founders Liza Gadsby and Peter Jenkins began work in Nigeria & Cameroon in 1988. They soon after embraced the challenge of preventing the extinction of the highly endangered drill monkey Mandrillus leucophaeus. Since then, the mission of Pandrillus has expanded to include chimpanzees, and other wildlife that share the drill's habitat in the Cross-Sanaga region, a small area in the heart of Africa with exceptionally high primate diversity. Pandrillus projects use a multi-faceted approach, combining in situ and ex situ activities, including: habitat protection, captive care and breeding, research, training, small scale development schemes, education and positive advocacy, all aimed at promoting the drill as a species and wildlife conservation generally. Projects collaborate with state and national governments, communities, traditional rulers, other international and local NGO's, zoos, advisory groups, and the private sector to achieve these goals
In the 1980s, drills were believed by the international scientific community to be extinct in Nigeria and on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. The only known population was in Korup National Park, Cameroon. In reality, drills were still found across most of there original range from the Cross River in Nigeria to the Sanaga River in Cameroon. They were being hunted relentlessly, their habitat was being fragmented and destroyed and they had been largely overlooked by the conservation community. In zoos in Europe and the USA drills bred poorly and their population was also in decline. No long term studies in the wild had been achieved and little was known of their biology, ecology or even where they could be found. Drills were listed by the IUCN as the highest priority African primate for conservation action.
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