Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes

Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes by Szabolcs Kókay @kokayart

Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes


Extant (resident): Angola; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; The Democratic Republic of the; Congo Côte d’Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda

Possibly Extinct: Benin; Burkina Faso; Togo

Chimpanzees have by far the widest geographic distribution of any great ape, with a range of over 2.6 million km²(derived from IUCN shapefiles). Chimpanzees are found discontinuously across the forest belt of Africa, occupying primary and secondary moist lowland forest, swamp forest, submontane and montane forest, dry forest, forest galleries in savanna woodland, and farmland (Oates 2011). In West Africa, Chimpanzees are also found in fallow-agricultural matrixes dominated by wild or feral oil palm (Leciak et al. 2005, Brncic et al. 2010, Sousa et al. 2011).

#Chimpanzees are directly threatened by #palmoil @IUCNredlist 42% of their range coincides with great #palmoil land. Say no to #deforestation in #Congo #Liberia #Uganda by changing ur shopping habits #Boycott4Wildlife. Art by @kokayart

Chimpanzees are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders. Fruit forms about half the diet, typically supplemented with terrestrial herbaceous vegetation, leaves, stems, seeds, flowers, bark, pith, honey, mushrooms, resin, eggs, and animal prey such as insects and medium-sized mammals. They are the most carnivorous of the great apes. Chimpanzees are also proficient tool users. Tools made from plant parts are used to extract bees, ants and termites from their nests (e.g., Fowler and Sommer 2007), and stone and wooden hammers are used to crack nuts (e.g., Boesch and Boesch 1984, Matsuzawa et al. 2011).

As tropical Asia nears its capacity for oil-palm plantations, Africa has become the new frontier for this crop, which offers excellent economic prospects in countries with appropriate rainfall, soil and temperature conditions (Rival and Lavang 2014). Unfortunately, these areas coincide with good great ape habitat: 42.3% of the African apes’ range is suitable for oil palm (Wich et al. 2014), so the spread of plantations is likely to hit Chimpanzee populations hard in coming years.

IUCN red list

Despite the fact that all killing, capture or consumption of great apes is illegal, poaching is the greatest threat to most Chimpanzees. The second major driver of decline in central Chimpanzee populations is infectious disease, especially Ebola virus disease (EVD).

The conversion of forest to farmland across Africa has severely reduced the availability of Chimpanzee habitat. Such habitat loss is especially acute in West Africa, where it is estimated that more than 80% of the region’s original forest cover had been lost by the early 2000s (Kormos et al. 2003).

Effective, coordinated land-use planning is required across the geographic range of chimpanzees to avoid the clearing of large areas of Chimpanzee habitat to establish large-scale agriculture, especially oil-palm plantations (IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group 2014, Wich et al. 2014, Ruysschaert and Rainer 2015).

IUCN Red list

Chimpanzees have a wide range in Africa but are endangered due to illegal #hunting #palmoil #deforestation and other threats. You can help our primate relatives by changing your shopping habits #Boycott4Wildlife. Art by @kokayart

Support the conservation of this species

Liberia Chimps Rescue

Africa Conservation Foundation

African Wildlife Foundation

Jane Goodall Conservation Foundation

WCS Uganda

Further Information

ICUN endangered logo

Humle, T., Maisels, F., Oates, J.F., Plumptre, A. & Williamson, E.A. 2016. Pan troglodytes (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15933A129038584. Downloaded on 12 March 2021.

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Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, scientists, conservationists, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail and industrial agriculture sectors and through strong campaigning we can stop them cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join the #Boycott4Wildlife and stand up for the animals with your supermarket choices

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