chimpanzee habitat

55 Years at Gombe: Q and A With Jane on Growth of Life's Work

In 1960, anthropologist Louis Leakey sent Jane Goodall, a 26 year old native of England with no college degree or scientific experience, to Africa with a mission: learn everything she could about wild chimpanzees. Leakey hoped that information on chimpanzees would shed light on human’s evolutionary past. But for Goodall, studying the chimpanzees just to learn more about them was reward enough.

5 Ways IUCN's New Great Apes Conservation Plan Aligns with JGI's Mission

A glossy white billboard soars above young children’s heads bearing larger-than-life images of a chimpanzee and a gorilla under the declaration Protect the Chimpanzees and Gorillas: The Congo’s Heritage for Future Generations. Connecting the images of the two apes, with their matching brilliant black coats of fur and proud gazes off into the distance, is a small flag of the Republic of Congo.

The Economic Rewards of Sustainability: Luzilo's Woodlot

Africa loses more than 10 million acres of forest every year. This intense rate of deforestation is devastating Africa’s flora and fauna, and is perhaps the most serious threat to the survival of chimpanzees and other great apes. The disappearance of forested habitats makes it near impossible for endangered chimpanzee populations to access the resources they desperately need to survive.

Updates from the Islands


The dense forest of Tchindzoulou Island is now home to 14 chimpanzees transferred from the original Tchimpounga sanctuary site over the last six months.  Life has changed dramatically for these chimps.  Today, they can roam freely, feeling the wet earth under their feet, smelling the scents from the lush vegetation, and listening to the island’s mysterious sounds while they explore their new surroundings.

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.

Monitoring ape habitats

Detecting changes and threats to endangered species’ habitats
Key Staff Members: 

Clearing of forests and woodlands has one of the most devastating impacts on great apes, leaving them in isolated, small populations that face edge effects and elevated risk of extinction. Satellite imagery and GIS are powerful tools to monitor chimpanzee habitats and threats even in the most remote, difficult to access areas. JGI has been a leader in applying multi-temporal, multi-resolution satellite imagery to map and detect change in the distribution of chimpanzee habitats in Africa from local to regional scales.

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Walk in the footsteps of Jane Goodall with Google Maps

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Saving Chimps From Snares (Graphic Images)!

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