This Wildlife Wednesday, learn about the chimpanzee - our closest animal relative and a favourite of conservationist Jane Goodall.
Last week, I wrote about attending Jane Goodall’s inspiring lecture on how each of us can help preserve our planet’s flora and fauna. Not surprisingly, she spoke quite a bit about one animal in particular: the clever and lovable chimpanzee.
Chimpanzees monkey around in the rainforest regions of 21 African countries.
Why are they threatened?
Only about 150,000 to 250,000 chimps remain in the wild, affording them the dubious distinction of being an endangered species. Two main threats continue to trouble these playful primates: habitat loss and hunting for bushmeat.
Sadly, the forest regions of which chimps are so fond have been devastated by logging, mining, farming, and other land-developing projects. Chimps are often left with small, disconnected patches of rainforest that don’t offer much shelter or protection from hunting.
Bushmeat—meaning the meat of wild animals in Africa—has long been a source of protein for residents of Central and West Africa. Even if they’re not the intended target of a hunt, chimps may become entangled in snares meant for other animals.
How can we help?
Thanks in large part to the Jane Goodall Institute, chimps are a well-known and much-loved species. There are several ways we can help protect these smart, weirdly adorable apes.