Navigation Links
In a last 'stronghold' for endangered chimpanzees, survey finds drastic decline

In a population survey of West African chimpanzees living in Cte d'Ivoire, researchers estimate that this endangered subspecies has dropped in numbers by a whopping 90 percent since the last survey was conducted 18 years ago. The few remaining chimpanzees are now highly fragmented, with only one viable population living in Ta National Park, according to a report in the October 14th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

This alarming decline in a country that had been considered one of the final strongholds for West African chimps suggests that their status should be raised to critically endangered, said Genevive Campbell of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

The booming human population in Cte d'Ivoire is probably responsible for the chimpanzees' demise.

"The human population in Cote d'Ivoire has increased nearly 50 percent over the last 18 years," said Christophe Boesch, also of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "Since most threats to chimpanzee populations are derived from human activities such as hunting and deforestation, this has contributed to the dramatic decline in chimpanzee populations. Furthermore, the situation has deteriorated even more with the start of the civil war in 2002, since all surveillance ceased in the protected areas."

In the 1960s, the population of chimpanzees in Cte d'Ivoire was estimated at about 100,000 individuals. At the end of the 1980s, when the first and last nationwide chimpanzee survey was carried out, the total population of chimpanzees was estimated at 8,000 to 12,000 individuals. While that already represented a drastic decrease from the expected numbers, it nonetheless meant that Cte d'Ivoire harbored about half of the world's remaining West African chimpanzee populations.

In the new study, Campbell and Boesch's team conducted another nationwide survey, revealing a 90 percent drop in the chimpanzee nest encounter rate since the time of the last survey. That catastrophic decline in chimpanzees is especially strong in forest areas with low protection status, where the researchers saw no sign of the chimps. Even in protected areas like Marahou National Park, chimpanzees have clearly suffered since surveillance and external funding support were disrupted by civil unrest in 2002.

"Following my transect lines in Marahou National Park was similar to doing so in classified forests throughout the country, where I had to search long and hard to find any wild trees," Campbell said. "It was saddening that I only found one nest in this park, as during the previous survey they found 234 nests along the same transects. The one nest I did find was also in an area that had just been cleared for agriculture."

The only remaining refuge for the dwindling West African chimpanzees is Ta National Park. However, this population is also extremely threatened by poaching activities, Boesch said. External financial support in that park is scheduled to end in 2010, a move that will probably have disastrous consequences for the last vestiges of chimpanzees in Cte d'Ivoire.

"The comparisons between the results within national parks in Cte d'Ivoire and compared with the classified forest sends a very clear message: populations of wild chimpanzees living in protected areas with constant funding for conservation activities can survive even during period of rapid increase in human populations and political unrest," Boesch said. "We must appeal to the international conservation community to invest in sustainable funding of conservation activities in national parks with known importance for chimpanzee populations. Our results show that this works."


Contact: Cathleen Genova
Cell Press

Related biology news :

1. Cryopreservation techniques bring hopes for women cancer victims and endangered species
2. Recovery efforts not enough for critically endangered Asian vulture
3. Ecological Society of America criticizes administrations overhaul of the Endangered Species Act
4. Pollination habits of endangered Texas rice revealed to help preservation
5. First successful reverse vasectomy on endangered species performed at the National Zoo
6. New CITES quotas allow more caviar export, further jeopardize endangered sturgeon
7. Relocation of endangered Chinese turtle may save species
8. Great apes endangered by human viruses
9. Critically endangered porpoise is focus of new research report
10. Worlds most endangered gorilla fights back
11. Critically endangered Amur leopard captured
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... New York , June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by ... and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, ... USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated ... reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The Department of Transport ... the 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... on what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant ... Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the ... models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: