The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

90% Wild Chimpanzees Are Dead

Wild chimps are disappearing rapidly. (AP/James Crisp)

A census of West African chimpanzees living in Côte d'Ivoire shows that 90% have died, according to researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Deforestation, farming, poaching and wars have made it harder for chimps to find protected places to live. The few chimpanzees left are widely scattered with only one substantial group left living in Taï National Park.

"The human population in Cote d'Ivoire has increased nearly 50 percent over the last 18 years," explains Christophe Boesch, PhD, director of the primatology department of the Max Planck Institute. "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 Côte d'Ivoire was home to about 100,000 chimpanzees. By the late 1980s, this had shrunk to about 10,000. While that already represented a drastic decrease, it nonetheless meant that Côte d'Ivoire contained about half of the world's remaining West African chimpanzee populations.
The last refuge for the disappearing West African chimpanzees is Taï National Park. However, this population is at risk from poachers, warns Dr. Boesch. External financial support in that park is scheduled to end in 2010, a change that will probably have disastrous consequences for the last vestiges of chimpanzees in Côte d'Ivoire unless further financial aid can be secured.


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