Chimpanzees

The kinship between humans and chimpanzees is very close. Between humans and chimpanzees exists a genetic difference of 1,24 %. The difference between chimpanzees and gorillas is 1,63 %. This means that chimpanzees are closer relatives of humans than of other apes.

Declining population

It is estimated that the West-African chimpanzee population has declined with 75 % in the last 30 years. One of the causes is the disappearance of the forests (i.e. because of agriculture and cattle breeding) in which they live. Another cause is the catching and killing of chimpanzees. Hunting on chimpanzees is prohibited by law in all West-African countries. But enforcing this law is difficult because of lack of control. Nevertheless, the fact that everyone knows that hunting on chimpanzees is prohibited helps to control the killing and trade partly.

In some West-African countries the chimpanzee already disappeared and in Senegal, Ghana and Guinea Bissau they are extremely threatened. Until the 70s chimpanzees appeared in big parts of Guinea Bissau. Their presence is now limited to some National Parks and the relatively isolated Boé area.