Timeline The Jane Goodall Institute


Jane arrives in Gombe

Jane Goodall and her mother Vanne arrive on the shores of Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in western Tanzania.


download-4Jane discovers that chimpanzees eat meat

Dr. Jane Goodall made the observation of a group of chimps eating a bushpig. Prior to this discovery, chimpanzees had been assumed to be vegetarian. During her research, Jane also observed the hunting process – a group of chimpanzees attacked, killed, and ate a red colobus monkey that had climbed high into a tree.


Jane discovers that chimpanzees make and use tools

Jane observes David Greybeard and Goliath making tools to extract termites from their mounds, a discovery that would force science to reconsider its definition of homo sapiens: “Man the Toolmaker.”


National Geographic publishes first cover story about Jane and her research

“My Life Among the Wild Chimpanzees” brings Jane Goodall and her chimps into the homes of millions.


Premier of the first film about Jane and her research

National Geographic films and releases “Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees” which brings the lives of chimps and Jane into the spotlight internationally.


The beginning of what is known as the “Four Year War”

Conflict erupts between two groups of rivaling chimpanzees in Gombe, the Kahama splinter group, and main Kasakela group.


Cannibalism is first observed

Cannibalism among the Gombe chimpanzees is first observed. Mother and daughter Passion and Pom steal and kill babies in their own community.


the Jane Goodall Institute is founded

Dr. Jane Goodall creates her namesake organization to continue her chimpanzee research as well as expand efforts on chimpanzee protection, conservation, and environmental education.


Jane becomes an activist

Dr. Jane Goodall attends the first ‘Understanding Chimpanzees’ conference in Chicago. This shifts her focus from observation and research, to a broader holistic animal-human conservation approach.


Roots & Shoots is founded

A group of students in Tanzania work with Jane to discuss ways youth can do something to better our world. Roots & Shoots is started to place the power and resources for creating practical solutions to big challenges in the hands of young people.


the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga sanctuary was founded

To provide a home and care for chimpanzees orphaned by the illegal commercial bushmeat and pet trades, JGI established the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center which now cares for more than 150 chimpanzees.


Jane starts community-conservation work in Western Tanzania

Known as the Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education (TACARE), this program was designed as a pilot project to address poverty and support sustainable livelihoods in villages around Lake Tanganyika while arresting the rapid degradation of natural resources, especially in the remaining indigenous forest.


JGI begins leveraging science in conservation work

JGI’s conservation science program provides the platform to generate actionable information to improve conservation decision making, inform the management of chimpanzee populations and design human land uses that promote the protection of chimpanzees and their habitats.


Jane is named a UN Messenger of Peace

Then Secretary-General Kofi Annan bestowed upon Dr. Goodall the highest honor of the United Nations for global citizens for her work to create a more peaceful world through Roots & Shoots.


JGI establishes first formal conservation action plan

Focused on the landscape surrounding Gombe Stream National Park, the plan seeks to bring together local communities, public officials and NGOs alike to share the work of protecting the wider ecosystem and reestablishing degraded habitats while also improving the lives of people living nearby. 


JGI celebrates the 50th anniversary of Jane’s research in Gombe

After five decades from when Dr. Goodall first stepped foot on the shores of what is now Gombe Stream National Park, the Jane Goodall Institute celebrates the learning and discoveries that continue to emerge from the longest continuous study of chimpanzees in the world. 


JGI celebrates the 25th anniversary of Roots & Shoots

Unlike any other youth program around the world, after just two and a half decades Roots & Shoots has spread to nearly 100 countries and has established a network of young people who carry Jane’s conservation ethic and are making the world a better place for people, animals and the environment. 


JGI celebrates its 40th Anniversary! tb-thumbnail-best

Dr. Jane Goodall helped us rethink our relationships with the other lives with whom we share this planet, and reshaped our responsibility towards them. In the 40 years since Dr. Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute for wildlife research, conservation and education, we’ve expanded her vision into a global mission to empower people to make a difference for all living things, for a future of green. Together, we’re continuing to build a better tomorrow and beyond. 

Photo credits on this page, top to bottom and left to right: Hugo van Lawick; JGI/Bill Wallauer; JGI Fernando Turmo; Richard Koburg; Lilian Pintea; United Nations; JGI/ Chase Pickering