CHIMPANZEE

Nikki Schneider

Species Information

Both the Common and the Bonobo chimpanzees have been on the endangered list since 2002 and are estimated to only have a population of 150,000-200,000 left in the world. The population of chimpazees has decresed 90% in the last 17 years. It is believed that the population will continue to down and only 1 in 4 chimps will be able to survive in their habitiat.

The Common Chimpanzee

The common chimpanzee was separated from other great apes about 20 million years ago. Today they are found in West and Central Africa. These chimpanzees are known to be much bigger than the Bonobo, and have black hair but a bare face. One adaptation that common chimps have is that they travel in group of 15-20 which helps with scaring away pretators, finding food, and defending their territory.

The Bonobo Chimpazee

The Bonobo Chimpanzee is found in Congo and also parts of Central Africa. They are known for their dark hair and dark skin as well as their pink lips. The Bonobo Chimpanzee is a much smaller version of the Common Chimpanzee. Both species share the same adaptations such as an opposable thumb to help move between branches as they swing from trees. They have hard soles that allow them to stay walking on two feet. Another characteristic is their sharp canine teeth that are helpful in tearing their pray and scaring off other animals,

Threats

1) A major threat against chimpanzees is hapitat loss due to the rapid human population growth. Because Africa has one of the highest growth rates, most forrest in Africa are becoming too small to even support groups of only 500 chimps. Their habitats are being cleared for living space and growing crops. Chimpanzees have become completley extinct from 4 African countires and almost extinct in 10 others.

2) Another threat against chimpanzees is the bushmeat trade. Chimpanzees and other wild animals are killed and sold for food and body parts. Since infants do not have enough meat they are sold on the exotic pet market. Bushmeat is also a primary source of protein in West and Central Africa. Because of this, it is believed that the bushmeat trade is the greatest threat to forest biodiversity in in West and Central Africa

Threats to Chimps

Current Conservation Efforts

The WWF has a program called the "WWF African Great Ape Programme". They have came up with three different guidlines to help conserve the remaining chimpanzee population. These include, establishing, strengthening and managing protected areas, developing chimpanzee-focused ecotourism, and stopping illegal killing of chimpanzees.

Impact of the Chimpanzee

One large impact Chimpanzees have is that they are one of our closest reletives. They share 98% of their genes with humans. Because of this, chimpanzees are one of the only animals humans can communicate with. Chimpanzees are also important to the ecosystem because a balanced ecosystem depends on a variety of species, and all the species depend on eachother for survival.

How Can We Help?

1) Take action- Speak out to not let congress slash funding for the environment and conservation

2) Stay connected- Stay up to date with wildlife news and conservation updates

3) Adopt a Chimp- Make a symbollic chimp adoption to help save some of the most endangered species from extinction