Chimpanzees are endangered species of primates sharing about 98% of their genes with humans that’s why they are our closest relatives. There were over 1,000,000 chimpanzees living in at least 25 countries in Africa in the past but the numbers have dramatically decreased to about 100,000-200,000 chimpanzees left in the wild today and only found in about 6 countries in Africa.
Chimpanzees are endangered due to habitat loss and this happens because of human encroachment in to chimpanzee habitats by clearing land to be used for farming, settlement, industrial use, mining and so much more. Chimpanzees are being endangered because of poaching, sometimes the chimpanzees fall in traps being set for other animals in the forest like small antelopes and this has resulted to the decrease in their numbers as many die from bad injuries caused by the traps.
The high demand for bush meat has also led to chimpanzees being endangered, most rich people find it prestigious eating bush meat and the restaurants selling get a lot of money from selling it hence encouraging more hunting for chimpanzees and other wild animals as well.
Young chimpanzees are also being endangered because their being exported abroad by rich folks to be used as pets or for private animal zoos. During the capture of the young chimpanzees, their mothers also have to be killed because they can become extremely aggressive and kill their predators.
Chimpanzees are also being endangered due to natural hazards like diseases such as Ebola and many other infections, chimps easily die of diseases that spread within a group at a high rate because they don’t have strong immune systems to protect them from diseases. Logging and mining companies have also set up road in chimpanzee habitat areas and this has made it easy for poachers to access chimpanzees.
The best way to help contribute to chimpanzee population is by not buying chimpanzee pets, do not eat any chimpanzee bush meat, you can also donate to chimpanzee institutes that raise orphaned chimpanzees or visit chimpanzees in their natural habitat the money used for buying permits is used to help in chimpanzee conservation.
Chimpanzee tracking can be done in Kibale forest national park, Budongo forest reserve, Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest in Uganda. In Rwanda chimpanzee tracking can be done in Nyungwe forest national park and Cyamundongo forest. Chimpanzee tracking in Congo can be done in Virunga national park. In Tanzania, it is done at Gombe Stream National Park.