Chimps Are Losing Their Culture, Study Says

March 7, 2019

Photo Credit: ©Kyle de Nobrega

Chimpanzees' complex cultures, including the use of tools and other behaviors, are being lost as human disturbance expands into previously wild areas, says a sweeping new paper published in the journal Science.

The ten-year study, led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, spanned 46 locations and 15 countries, providing the most complete description of chimpanzee culture to date. WCS, Lincoln Park Zoo, and more than 20 other organizations are co-authors.

“We risk destroying these forests before even discovering what secrets they hold," said Emma Stokes, WCS’s Central Africa Director.. “These findings reinforce the broader values of intact forests for climate and biodiversity.”

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