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Chimpanzee Conservation: What We Know, What We Do Not Know, and Ways Forward

Chimpanzee Conservation: What We Know, What We Do Not Know, and Ways Forward

Chapter:
(p.585) 25 Chimpanzee Conservation: What We Know, What We Do Not Know, and Ways Forward
Source:
Chimpanzees in Context
Author(s):
Colin A. ChapmanKim ValentaSarah BortolamiolSam K. MugumeMeng Yao
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226728032.003.0025

The world is changing rapidly and its biodiversity is being lost. It is estimated that close to 50% of the world’s primates are at risk of extinction, with 14.5% critically endangered. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are one of these endangered species and because of their iconic status and phylogenetic closeness to humans, they are a special endangered species. It is estimated that chimpanzee populations have experienced significant declines in the past 20 to 30 years and overall the population reduction over three-generations is estimated to exceed 50%. This chapter documents the current threats to chimpanzee to illustrate what the scientific and conservation communities know and do not know and illustrate the way forward. The relative contributions of deforestation, the bushmeat industry, disease, and climate change as factors driving chimpanzee population declines are considered. While the situation is grim, there are a number of promising actions that can be taken; improved law enforcement, reduced impact logging, reforestation associated with carbon storage and efforts to mitigate climate change, education and public outreach, and new emerging models for conservation funding. Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives and are wonderful intelligent animals; they deserve to be treated much better than humans are treating them now.

Keywords:   conservation, deforestation, primate disease, conservation education, bushmeat, African development

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