chimpanzees

Fast Facts

 

10 Things to Know About Chimpanzees

  1. Chimpanzees are one of our closest living relatives. In fact, humans and chimpanzees share 95 to 98 percent of the same DNA!
     
  2. Chimpanzees make and use tools. In fact, they use more tools for more purposes than any other creature except human beings. Visit the video page to watch videos of tool use at Gombe National Park in Tanzania.

Chimpanzees & Bushmeat: 101

With the increased commercialization of the illegal bushmeat trade across Central and Western Africa, thousands of adult chimpanzees and other endangered animals like elephants and gorillas are killed every year.

Raising awareness is a powerful means

State of the Wild Chimpanzee

Chimpanzees are extinct in 4 of the 25 countries where they were traditionally found.

We stand on the threshold of a future without chimpanzees       in the wild.

The IUCN/World Conservation Union Red List of Threatened Species says each of the species of African great apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos – as endangered. African apes are largely confined to the relatively intact forests of Equatorial Africa as their last remaining stronghold. Chimpanzees are likely extinct in 4 of their 25 range countries (Gambia, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin).

Communication

Chimpanzees communicate in many ways, most notably through sounds and calls, but also through touch, facial expressions and body language.

Chimpanzees communicate in many ways, most notably through sounds and calls. They also communicate with each other through touch, facial expressions and body language.

 

Biology & Habitat

Chimpanzees, one of our closest living relatives, can be found in 21 countries in equatorial Africa.

  • Biologically, chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than they are to another species of great apes—gorillas. In fact, humans and chimpanzees share about 95 percent to 98 percent of the same DNA.
     
  • Chimpanzees can catch and be infected with human diseases. Read more on this topic.
     
  • In the wild, chimpanzees seldom live past age 50. Some captive individuals, however, have lived past the age of 60.

Tool Use, Hunting & Other Discoveries

Learn about some of the groundbreaking discoveries made at Gombe National Park in the past 50+ years!

In 1960,  Jane Goodall traveled to what was then Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in the British protectorate of Tanganyika to study the behavior of the wild chimpanzees. The groundbreaking discoveries she made in Gombe became the foundation of future chimpanzee behavioral research and dramatically changed how animal behavior is studied.

Tool Making & Tool Use
Hunting
Family Relationships

Tanzania Conservation Action Plan

Developing a comprehensive action plan focused on guaranteeing the long-term survival of chimpanzees in Tanzania.
Key Staff Members: 

Threats to chimpanzees in Tanzania include unsustainable agriculture, fuel wood extraction, logging, expansion of human settlements, disease and a growing problem of hunting for bushmeat and witchcraft.

Key Activities:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Ape Conservation Fund will help JGI and partners develop strategies designed to abate the most critical threats to chimpanzees and their habitats. These will include strategies to:

Fansi Anaumwa! (Fansi is Sick!)

In his latest blog entry, Dr. Deus Mjungu, Gombe Stream Research Center’s director of chimpanzee research, discusses a recent illness at Gombe National Park, Tanzania.

Fansi Anaumwa! (Fansi is Sick!)

For an animal, getting sick is a simple fact of life. Despite this, it’s particularly concerning when a chimpanzee falls ill. At Gombe, disease is one of the main causes of death for chimpanzees. Therefore, we keep a particularly vigilant eye on the chimps in the park.

DRC CAP

Identifying actions to reduce the threats to great apes and their habitat in the eastern DRC
Key Staff Members: 
Map of the CAP landscape

The forests of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are one of the most globally important regions for biodiversity. The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) with support from the Arcus Foundation and The World We Want Foundation is leading a conservation action planning (CAP) process in the region.

Happy Birthday Ferdinand!

Bill Wallauer, JGI wildlife cameraman and research videographer, celebrates the birthday of Gombe National Park’s Ferdinand.

Ferdinand, the alpha male of the Kasakela chimpanzee community in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, turned 19 years old last Friday, August 19, 2011.

Regardless of where I am in the world, I celebrate Ferdinand’s birthday every year.  Last Friday was not only the day that brought Ferdinand into the world, it was also the day I was able to film the first great ape birth ever recorded in the wild.

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JGI News and Highlights

Featured Video

Jane: A Snapshot

Watch this new video from National Geographic which highlights Dr. Goodall's life and legacy.

Featured Video

Featured Video

Saving Chimps From Snares (Graphic Images)!

This is the story of Mugu Moja, a young juvenile chimpanzee.