Chimpanzees are an extremely intelligent animal and member of the great ape family, along with gorillas and orangutans. There are two separate species of chimpanzees that are both found in Africa. The Common Chimpanzee is found in West and Central Africa and the Bonobo is found only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population of chimpanzees has declined significantly and both species are now listed as endangered animals. Let’s take a look at why the existence of this magnificent animal is under threat.
Why are chimpanzees endangered?
Humans are the primary reason that chimpanzees are endangered. The first threat to this animal is habitat loss, usually due to logging, human settlements or infrastructure. It is estimated that 80% of the jungle of Western and Central Africa has been lost. Another reason that the numbers have declined is due to illegal poaching. Poachers illegally kill the chimpanzees for their meat, known in the region as bush meat, and they are also killed by farmers to protect their crops. They are also susceptible to infections, which can be devastating to the population.
There are many conservation efforts underway to protect the chimpanzee. There are many national parks are wildlife reserves designed to protect the animal and their habitat. There are also conservation efforts underway to breed the chimpanzees in captivity to be later released into the wild.