Why are Chimpanzees Endangered | Endangered Apes

Chimpanzees are in danger of dying out and in the next 50 years they could become extinct. Prominent among the responsible factors is a human disturbance which is pushing many chimps to the brink of extinction. Once they were widespread all across the 25 Africa countries but currently they are found in no more than 21 countries.

Why are Chimpanzees Endangered

In the beginning of the twentieth century there were about one million chimpanzees but by the late 1990s the numbers have dropped down to only 100,000.  There are about 172,700 to 299,700 common chimpanzees left in the wild. Currently they have become extinct in many countries and endangered in all others.

There are about 29,500 to 50,000 bonobos remaining in the wild. They also face same threats such as poaching, bushmeat, habitat loss, and hunting. Their population is thought to have significantly declined in the last 30 years.

Illegal Trading

The young chimpanzees are often taken either for scientific experiments or for selling to private zoos. This illegal trading has caused the wild population to deteriorate rather quickly.


In the past many chimpanzees are hunted for bush meat as some African people seem to like chimps’ meat. It offers an easy source of food. Chimps’s meat is not only eaten by the native Africans but it is also exported abroad. Environmentalists believe that trading in chimpanzee’s meat poses the greatest to the survival of these species.

Chimps are not only hunted for meat but their body parts are used in several traditional medicines.

A young chimp is cracking nuts with a stone. Photo Credit: Credit Luncz et al./Current Biology
A young chimp is cracking nuts with a stone. Photo Credit: Credit Luncz et al./Current Biology

Logging and Farming

Whether its trading, selling, hunting, logging or farming humans are behind every activity that has caused animals to leave their primitive habitats. Furthermore as the human population is growing in towns and cities they are badly damaging chimps’ habitats. The apes have been pushed far back so that the humans could encroach what is rightfully theirs. These human developments have left adverse effects on animals’ homes leaving only isolated pockets of forests.

Infectious Diseases

Infectious disease is yet another cause of chimpanzee’s death. As chimps and humans are immediate relatives the disease is far more likely to transmit from one to the other. As a result, humans put a check on animals’ population.

Wide-scale Deforestation

The wide-scale deforestation for agricultural purposes brings chimps to confront humans. Humans once occupy chimps’ homes, are not going to leave their abodes instead they want animals to leave for them.

Chimps must confront humans while moving through their boundaries—a boundary which had once belonged to chimps only. This is indeed a dangerous thing for chimps to do because unlike animals humans always find their way to wipe out other species from their habitats.

Some of these Great apes are protected but the areas in which chimps live are too remote and large that it is hard to enforce law.

However the causes may be, the future of our forest brothers is at stake and the worst part is that we and only we are responsible for this calamity.

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