Chimpanzees in the wild reduced to 'forest ghettos'

All four sub-species of the African chimpanzee are threatened with extinction, with at least one—the western chimpanzee—declinin
All four sub-species of the African chimpanzee are threatened with extinction, with at least one—the western chimpanzee—declining in number by more than 80 percent over three generations

Urban expansion and hunting have pushed chimpanzees, humanity's closest relative in the animal kingdom, into shrinking islets of wildness, top experts said Tuesday after a three-day meeting in Germany.

All four sub-species of the African primate are threatened with extinction, with at least one—the western chimpanzee—declining in number by more than 80 percent over three generations.

Forty chimp experts from around the world—with a combined 300 years of field experience—issued a collective appeal to save the only animal whose DNA overlaps with humans by 98 percent.

"Over the decades that we have been working with wild chimpanzee communities, we have all seen our study groups become isolated," they said in a statement.

"Chimpanzees are being reduced into living in forest ghettos."

The main threat to chimps and other is habitat loss.

Africa still has large tracts of undisturbed savannah and forest, but these areas are shrinking rapidly due growing cities, mining, deforestation, and industrial agriculture.

The continent's of more than 1.2 billion is expected to double by mid-century, and could top four billion by the end of the century.

Chimps number in the thousands for three of the , and about 250,000 for the eastern chimpanzee, found mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

All four sub-species of the African primate are threatened with extinction, with at least one—the western chimpanzee—declining i
All four sub-species of the African primate are threatened with extinction, with at least one—the western chimpanzee—declining in number by more than 80 percent over the last three generations

Western chimpanzees have already been wiped out in Burkina Faso, Benin, Gambia, and possibly Togo.

"Forty years ago, we drove 100 kilometres (60 miles) on a mud road to reach the park boundaries while encountering chimpanzees and elephants," said Christopher Boesch, a professor at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, referring to the Tai National Park in Ivory Coast.

"Nowadays, you have to reach the park boundaries to see the first patch of forest."

Last common ancestor

Human encroachment and the hunting of chimpanzees for "bush meat" has also altered the social life and behaviour of the animals, said Crickette Sanz, an associate professor at Washington University in Missouri who has worked for decades in the Republic of Congo's Goualougo Triangle.

"When we first arrived in the Ndoki forest, the chimpanzees would often approach us with curiosity," she recalled.

The last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees lived about seven million years ago
The last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees lived about seven million years ago

Now they hide.

"It is wise that they have changed their behaviour—their survival depends on it," Sanz added.

Compared to chimpanzees in pristine forests, those in areas disrupted by humans also showed a decrease in the diversity of learned behaviour, according to a recent study.

Scientists studying nearly 150 chimpanzee communities across 17 countries identified 31 actions—including cracking nuts, extracting termites or ants with tools, collected honey, throwing stones as a form of communication—that were done differently from one group to the next.

The more humans had carved up the environment—building roads, clear-cutting trees, setting up palm oil plantation—the more uniform these actions became.

The last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees lived about seven million years ago.

"We did not evolve from bonobos or chimpanzees but we share with them a common ancestry," said Martin Surbeck, a prima
"We did not evolve from bonobos or chimpanzees but we share with them a common ancestry," said Martin Surbeck, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, also in Leipzig

"We did not evolve from bonobos or but we share with them a common ancestry," said Martin Surbeck, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, also in Leipzig.

The famed anthropologist Irven DeVore once marvelled at humanity's indifference to our closest primate cousins.

"If we, in our travels in space, should encounter a creature that shared 98 percent of our genetic makeup, think of the money we would spend to study this species," he said.

"Such creatures exist on Earth and we are allowing them to become extinct."


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Jun 05, 2019
Chimpanzees are a Civilisation

Pygmies are a civilisation
Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's largest town
Resides 11 million people
Kinshasaians are a civilisation
Since the dawn of civilisation
Man has fought man
Man has eaten man
And so it is with chimpanzees
Since dawn of civilisation
Chimpanzee has fought chimpanzee
Chimpanzee has eaten chimpanzee
All civilisations have fought and eaten civilisations since dawn of civilisations
Even as we watch civilisations build towns enlarge towns build rail and road transport
In the forest where these transport infrastructures pass
Chimpanzees build their own roads transport infrastructure
Build Chimpanzee towns create chimpanzee armies
To go on Chimpanzee raiding parties
To eat Chimpanzees in neighbouring Chimpanzee towns
Chimpanzees like ourselves are civilisations
The difference is humans are evolving out our forest
Chimpanzees are not evolving out our forest
Remaining in their dwindling forest

Jun 05, 2019
Chimpanzees and humans can work together

As Chimpanzees are not evolving out our forest
But remaining in dwindling numbers in our dwindling forest
We have to help them
As we cannot stop our forest dwindling
As Chimpanzees are not evolved to live in houses like humans
Their house is a branch with a canopy of leaves for shelter for a house for the night
Chimpanzees have their own houses which are not permanent like human houses
Chimpanzees have houses all the same
Chimpanzees can learn
Chimpanzees and humans can work together
To find a solution that Chimpanzees are evolved to deal with
Chimpanzees have to learn to live with humans for their survival
For it is in Chimpanzees best interest to do so
But
We humans have to work out a solution Chimpanzees can live with

Jun 06, 2019
Black Africans don't seem to be as concerned about the fate of chimps as White folks in the US and Europe are. Perhaps it is that conservationist mentality that many White intellectuals have.

Jun 06, 2019
These natives of this land of Chimpanzees do care

SEU
Black Africans don't seem to be as concerned about the fate of chimps as White folks in the US and Europe are. Perhaps it is that conservationist mentality that many White intellectuals have.

These natives of this land of Chimpanzees do care
This is their country side, their homeland
These Chimpanzees are their kith and kin
These natives are not standing still for no man
These natives are our selves
These natives want what we have obtained
This is progress
These natives want these Shires, these thatched cottages
With their running water
Electricity
Gas
Broadband
Roads
Cars
Televisions
Mobiles
Holidays abroad
Nice clothes
Comfort
Security
Nothing in this Universe can stop this happing
Because
This is progress, SEU

Jun 10, 2019
The 3 chimps in the picture are: See No Evil; Hear No Evil; Speak No Evil.

Jun 10, 2019
You left out "eat no evil."

I've always found it amusing that the Ten Commandments from the Babble about the super magic sky daddy don't prohibit eating people. What is this, the zeroth commandment?

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