Paper Example: Conservation Plan for Chimpanzee

Published: 2023-04-04
Paper Example: Conservation Plan for Chimpanzee
Type of paper:  Report
Categories:  Ecology Animals Social responsibility
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1756 words
15 min read

The chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) is a species of the great ape, which is always common in the Western and Eastern forests of Africa. Today, the chimpanzee is one of the most endangered species and is considered a global conservation concern. The number of chimpanzees has reduced over the years because of hunting for meat and destruction of the habitat. The purpose of this report is to provide a detailed conservation report for the chimpanzees. The first section of the report, biology, and ecology of chimpanzees, discusses the need to conserve them. It outlines the biological importance and uniqueness, functional role in the community, interacting species, habitat requirements, reproductive capacity, and the range of the chimpanzees. The second section, threats, presents evidence on reasons the chimpanzees are endangered. The part provides numbers of the declining species and the causes of the decline. The third section outlines a comprehensive plan for conserving the species. The objective of the action plan is to develop a strategy that will help to reduce the declining rate of the chimpanzees. The action plan involves the identification of where chimpanzees are in high numbers and where resources will have the highest impact when devoted. The section present gaps in knowledge and the need for further research on the conservation of chimpanzees.

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Biology and Ecology

Chimpanzees play a community role in maintaining the ecosystem (Humle, Maisels, Oates, Plumptre, & Williamson, 2016). In their anthropogenic habitat, chimpanzees interact with mammals such as monkeys as well as species of birds and reptiles (Hockings, Humle, Carvalho, & Matsuzawa, 2012). Among all apes, chimpanzees are the widest geographically distributed with a range of 2.6 million km2 (Humle et al., 2016). The chimpanzees are distributed across Senegal, Congo River, Western Tanzania, and Western Uganda (Humle et al., 2016). The chimpanzees are categorized in subspecies, which include the following,

  • Pan t. ellioti - this is the smallest range of the four chimpanzees found only in Nigeria and Cameroon, north of the Sanaga River (Humle et al., 2016).
  • Pan t. schweinfurthii - ranges from the Ubangi River/Congo River in the southeast Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to Burundi, Rwanda, western Uganda, and western Tanzania, with a small, population in South Sudan (Humle et al., 2016).
  • Pan t. troglodytes - ranges from Cameroon, south of the Sanaga River, to the CongoRiver/Ubangi River (DRC) (Humle et al., 2016).
  • Pan t. verus - found in West Africa from Senegal to Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo (Humle et al., 2016).

The populations of chimpanzees are no longer found in Gambia, Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso (WWF, 2020). The chimpanzees are found in the Western, Eastern, Central, and Nigerian Cameroon areas (WWF, 2020). A discussion is provided below.

The central chimpanzee - Chimpanzees found in the areas are the largest subspecies. They have a population of up to 115,000 individuals, which are found in Gabon, Cameroon, and Congo (WWF, 2020). Small populations are found in the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and Angola (Cabinda enclave), south-east Nigeria, and possibly the coastal extension of DRC (WWF, 2020). Many of the chimpanzee subspecies are now found only where large areas of forest remain undisturbed (WWF, 2020).

The western chimpanzee They are found in 13 countries from southern Senegal Eastwards as far as the Niger River in central Nigeria (WWF, 2020). The largest remaining population is found in Cote D'Ivoire, with fewer of them found in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, and Liberia (WWF, 2020). Relict populations are found in Mali, Ghana, and Senegal. The total population is thought to be about 21,000-55,000 individuals (WWF, 2020).

The eastern chimpanzee ranges from the Ubangi River/Congo River in the Central African Republic and DRC, to western Uganda, Rwanda and western Tanzania. Small populations are found in Burundi and south-eastern Sudan (WWF, 2020).

The Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee is the least numerous subspecies with a total population of fewer than 6,500 individuals remaining in Nigeria and Cameroon, north of the Sanaga River (WWF, 2020). The only relatively large and secure population is in Gashaka-Gumti National Park in Nigeria, with an estimated population of up to 1,500 (WWF, 2020).

Chimpanzees live in multi-male multi-female groups of as small as 35 and as large as 150 (Humle et al., 2016). Their ranges are fewer in mixed forests compared to woodland mosaics with one of the littlest known is 6 km2 at Budongo in Uganda while one of the biggest is 72 km2 at Semliki, additionally in Uganda (Humle et al., 2016). Chimpanzees are omnivorous and artful feeders (Humle et al., 2016). They feed on herbaceous vegetation, leaves, stems, seeds, blossoms, bark, essence, nectar, mushrooms, tar, eggs, as well as animal prey like small insects and medium-sized warm-blooded animals (Humle et al., 2016). They are the most flesh-eating of the primates (Humle et al., 2016).

Chimpanzees are unique apes. Male and female chimpanzees mature between 7-8 years old (Humle et al., 2016). Females have a 35-day conceptive cycle (Humle et al., 2016). They reproduce throughout the year (Humle et al., 2016). The interval of childbirths ranges from 4.6-7.2 years when their previous newborn survives (Humle et al., 2016). Females can reproduce into their late forties (Humle et al., 2016). Female Chimpanzees give birth to up to nine offspring during their lifetime (Humle et al., 2016). Langergraber et al. (2012) indicated that their generation lasts for 25 years.

Chimpanzees should be protected because, like any other creature, they are comfortable in their environment. Besides, they play a significant role in conserving the diversity of the forests in Africa. If the species continue to go extinct, then the diversity of the forests would be changed irrevocably.



Poachers often target chimpanzees because of meat. At the point when Chimpanzees are killed for meat, their newborn children here and there become pets, and some are trafficked (Hicks, Darby, Hart, Swinkels, January, & Menken, 2010). According to the CITES Secretariat (2014), the trade of chimpanzees is persistent in most parts of Africa. Chimpanzees are some of the time killed purposefully even harmed by individuals ensuring their yields or as retaliation for crop-raiding (Brncic, Amarasekaran, & McKenna, 2010). Occasions of yield searching and experiences among individuals and Chimpanzees are frequent, particularly in West Africa (Brncic et al., 2010). This intensifies the poaching and trade of chimpanzees. As Humle et al. (2016) asserted, nearly one thousand reallocated chimpanzees are currently housed in havens in their range nations.

Transportation has developed in most of African countries. Due to that, a majority of the once-remote and blocked off woodlands are presently secured by a system of logging streets (Laporte et al. 2007), which gives poachers quick access to the forest areas. Besides, industrialization has led to immigration and road access, which gives poacher easy time to hunt for the chimpanzees (Edwards et al. 2014). Without a doubt, this access results in more hunting pressure, which causes the decline of chimpanzees in the woodlands.


Since chimpanzees are similar to humans, they succumb to various ailments. The Ebola virus, for example, has killed various chimpanzees in West Africa (Humle et al., 2016). Surveys carried out in the 1980s to the present day show that the Ebola virus caused any apes to die in areas such as northeastern Gabon and northwestern Congo, which incorporates a few national parks (Walsh et al. 2003). Since the mid-1990s, about 14% of their territory of conveyance has been influenced by Ebola infection (Walsh et al., 2003). Many central Chimpanzees die from serious infections within weeks or months (Walsh et al., 2003). Ebolavirus can cross waterways. It was detected toward the east of the significant stream hindrance between Odzala-Kokoua National Park and the Sangha River (Reed et al. 2014). A future outbreak of the virus in that territory is likely to occur and lead to the deaths of Chimpanzee populaces that have inhabited the area (Humle et al., 2016). If not appropriately oversaw, the rivers will provide present open doors for illness transmission among the endangered species.

Habitat Loss and Environmental Degradation

  • a) Agriculture - the change in farmland across Africa has diminished the accessibility of Chimpanzees in their environment. Kormos, Boesch, Bakarr, and Butynski (2003) indicated that by the mid-2000 in West Africa, up to 80% of the habitat of chimpanzees has been lost due to agriculture. Additionally, a broad land change in eastern DRC, western Rwanda, and western Uganda has decimated a great part of the sub-montane woodland inhabited by Chimpanzees (Kormos et al., 2003). In Central Africa, the annual loss of chimpanzee habitat was 0.14% (Desclee et al. 2014). Furthermore, in the northern part of the savanna forests, fires and livestock grazing have destroyed the habitat of chimpanzees (Humle et al., 2016). Undoubtedly, the increase in the human population is expected to prompt further environmental degradation and habitat loss due to agriculture and grazing.
  • (b) Industries - activities such as logging as well as mining and oil affect Chimpanzee environments because of natural surroundings modification (Morgan et al. 2007). The mining and logging affects the composition of forests as the trees of specific species-some of the high significance to Chimpanzees for nourishment are exhausted. Additionally, mining has an indirect influence on the life of chimpanzees. Hunle et al. (2016) stated that mining causes human immigration, which results in the change of structure of streets, railroads and other foundation. Similarly, logging worsens dangers to Chimpanzees through habitat degradation and discontinuity in regions not recently affected by such anthropogenic weights.
  • (c) Industrial Farming - Over the years, Africa has become the new hub for oil-palm plantations, which offers incredible monetary possibilities in nations with suitable precipitation, soil, and temperature conditions (Rival & Lavang, 2014). Chimpanzees inhabit such regions since 42.3% of the African primates' range is appropriate for oil palm (Wich et al. 2014). Due to industrial farming, the habit will affect Chimpanzee populaces in the future years. These practices of industrial farming affect the chimpanzee's natural surroundings and impact their eating regimen, patterns of activity, dispersal, ranging patterns, and puts them at risk of new pathogens (Ancrenaz, Chenye, Humle, & Robbins, 2015).
  • (d) Transportation - immense road networks, which can be a few kilometers wide, are progressing across Africa and these will generously affect the chimpanzee environment and result in the loss of woodland (Laurance et al. 2015).

Conservation Plan

The conservation of nature and natural resources is paramount. Based on research on the biology, ecology, and threats, chimpanzees are endangered species. The species are protected by national and international laws throughout their range, but as seen through the devastating decline in numbers, enforcement is generally weak. The chimpanzee subspecies occur in numerous national parks and some of them can be found outside the protected areas. Nevertheless, compete protected is not guaranteed within the protected areas. This is due to poor management that causes high coaching practices and destruction of the environment. In all the research incorporated in the paper, it is clear that chimpanzees are endangered.

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