Gerry's Ape Travel Blog

Thoughts from the world of great apes
pan hooting Eastern chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

IUCN Lists Western chimpanzee As Critically Endangered

pan hooting Eastern chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

Eastern chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) facing an increasingly uncertain future in the forests of Eastern Central Africa. The new IUCN re-listing to Critically Endangered draws alarming clarity to that future.

Sad, but not unexpected news, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Western chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) as critically endangered in their Red List of threatened species.

The total population estimate for the Western chimpanzee is a not-s0-accurate 18,000–65,000 individuals (Sop et al. in prep) – lending further concern to the fate of chimpanzees.

High levels of bush-meat hunting, the loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation resulting from human activities, the Western chimpanzee is estimated to have experienced a significant population reduction in the past 50 years, and it is suspected that this reduction will persist in coming years. The extent of overlap between chimpanzee occurrence and areas suitable for oil-palm development is likely to exacerbate population declines in coming years (Wich et al. 2014), especially in Liberia (94.3% overlap) and Sierra Leone (84.2% overlap), which along with Guinea are the strongholds for the Western chimpanzees (Kormos, Humle et al. 2003, Brncic et al. 2010, Tweh et al. 2015).

Notes & Sources

Report Citation: Humle, T., Boesch, C., Campbell, G., Junker, J., Koops, K., Kuehl, H. & Sop, T. 2016. Pan troglodytes ssp. verus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15935A17989872.

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