Study: 'Pacifist' chimps face extinction

Sep 08, 2005

Pygmy chimpanzees known for resolving conflict through sex rather than fighting are reportedly facing extinction.

The Bonobos chimps that neither kill nor fight over territory live within strictly matriarchal families in the forests of Congo, The Telegraph reported Thursday.

Claudine Andre, a conservationist who runs an orphanage for the primates in Kinshasa, Congo's capital, said the chimps pair off for sex at the slightest hint of danger, stress or friction.

But she says the chimps -- among man's closest relatives -- might become the first great ape to become extinct on the planet.

She said there were an estimated 100,000 bonobos in 1980, but by 1990 that had dropped to 10,000. Since then Congo, which has been engaged in a civil war, has been too dangerous for conservationists to research the species' numbers.

Ape experts from 23 nations are meeting this week in Kinshasa, The Telegraph said. They have warned that gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and especially bonobos could be extinct within a human generation.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Earlier Stone Age artifacts found in Northern Cape of South Africa

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Peter Pan' Apes Never Seem To Learn Selfishness

Feb 01, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Sharing is a behavior on which day care workers and kindergarten teachers tend to offer young humans a lot of coaching. But for our ape cousins the bonobos, sharing just comes naturally.

Recommended for you

Affirmative action elicits bias in pro-equality Caucasians

48 minutes ago

New research from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business indicates that bias towards the effects of affirmative action exists in not only people opposed to it, but also in those who strongly endorse equality.

Narcissistic CEOs and financial performance

20 hours ago

Narcissism, considered by some as the "dark side of the executive personality," may actually be a good thing when it comes to certain financial measures, with companies led by narcissistic CEOs outperforming those helmed ...

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

20 hours ago

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

User comments : 0