Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees, our close relatives, play a vital role in maintaing the diversity of Central Africa's forests. The large seeds they eat and disperse are too big for most other animals. Without them, and their fellow great apes and elephants, these forests would be irreversibly changed. Yet today, all four chimpanzee subspecies are endangered.

Challenges

The main threats to chimpanzees are habitat loss, disease, and hunting, especially for bushmeat. These are exacerbated by chimps' slow reproductive rate—if an adult is killed, it takes 14-15 years to replace him or her as a breeding individual.

140 human diseases

Chimpanzees are vulnerable to more than 140 human diseases. As the number of people grows in and around their habitat, chimps are more likely to fall victim to illness.


Our Goal

With our partners, range state governments, and local communities, we strive to maximize our impact to protect chimps.

We do this by, among other things:

5un05vh3ol julie larsen maher 9935 chimpanzee in wild uga 06 26 10
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Tackling Ebola

Among chimps and other great apes, the Ebola virus can have a devastating effect—the mortality rate is around 95%. Between 1994 and 2005, a series of outbreaks killed thousands.

To monitor Ebola in the Republic of Congo, WCS set up a vast surveillance network with locals. We've also created a lab in the capital, where rapid processing of samples can be done, greatly reducing the time between collection and diagnosis.


Why WCS?

3 subspecies

Of the four chimpanzee subspecies, WCS works directly on three.

Related Regions

Related News

View All News

Stand for Wildlife

Join more than one million wildlife lovers working to save the Earth's most treasured and threatened species. (Oh, and get a free sticker.)

DOUBLE your impact for tigers

Fewer than 3,200 wild tigers are left on this earth – a fact we can no longer afford to ignore. Help us raise $50,000 for Big Cats by June 30th. Donate today and your gift will be matched, dollar-for-dollar!

Donate for tigers today:

Stand for Wildlife

Join a community of over one million people helping protect the wildlife and places we love.

Get notified about crucial issues, WCS's work, and ways you can help!

Get a Free Sticker

Join more than one million wildlife lovers working to save the Earth's most treasured and threatened species. (Oh, and get a free sticker.)

Get notified about crucial issues, WCS's work, and ways you can help!