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Chimpanzee Species, Types of Chimpanzees & Average Lifespan

Chimpanzees are also known as common chimpanzees are a species of great apes inhabiting rainforests, woodlands and savannahs of tropical Africa. Chimpanzees share 98% DNA with humans which are closer than that of gorillas. In case a female chimpanzee with an infant dies, the other older females adapt the baby and take good care of it until it matures.

The average lifespan of a chimpanzee id 50 years of age in the wilderness and about 60 years when they are in captivity, when a female chimpanzee has her first baby she’s usually unsure of how to care for the baby but learns from other older female chimpanzees with babies.

Chimpanzees normally do not take long term partners therefore; there is no competition when choosing another chimpanzee to mate with. Chimpanzee mating always takes between 10-15 seconds and this can happen even when their doing another activity like eating.

During the 19th century, there were over 1000,000 chimpanzees living in the wilderness but today numbers are less than 300,000 chimpanzees surviving they are threatened by humans with poaching for bush meat and pet trade, habitat destruction due to human settlements and other activities, diseases like Ebola have also led to the decrease of chimpanzee numbers in the past years.

Species of chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are subdivided into four species of;

Central chimpanzee

The central chimpanzee species also known as tschego, Pan Troglodytes troglodytes. This species of chimpanzees is commonly found in the democratic republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Gabon, south east of Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.

This species of chimpanzees is in IUCN red list of endangered species with only about 115,000 individuals left in the wild. The major threats are Ebola disease, habitat destruction, poaching for bush meat and deforestation.

Eastern chimpanzee

The eastern chimpanzee is a sub species of the common chimpanzee inhabiting Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic. The 2007 IUCN red list classified them as an endangered species and recent declines are expected to continue.

Western chimpanzee

Western chimpanzee is also known as the West African chimpanzee is found mainly in Guinea and Cote d’lvoire. This species of chimpanzees became genetically separated from other species about 500,000 years ago.

The primary threat to the western chimpanzee is habitat loss, there estimated to be only 21,300 to 55,600 individuals left in the wild. Their diet also quite differs as they hunt for bush babies, green monkeys, pattas monkeys, banded mongoose and Guinea baboons.

Nigerian – Cameroon chimpanzee

The Nigerian-Cameroon chimpanzee is a sub species of a common chimpanzee that inhabits the rainforests of Nigeria and Cameroon border. This species of chimpanzee is the most threatened of all the chimpanzee species, the species inhabits Mbam Djerem national park in Cameroon, Gashaka-Gumti national park in Nigeria, Ngel Nyaki forest reserve in Nigeria and Byang-Mbo wildlife sanctuary in Cameroon.

The Nigerian-Cameroon male species can weigh up to 70 kilograms and a height of 1.6 metres tall though females are a bit smaller.

In conclusion all the above species of chimpanzees look the same at first site and only differ in few things and habitat.

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