Wednesday, 15 Oct, 2008 Environment
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Chimps Lose Habitats- who is to blame?

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A new research states that the number of West African chimpanzees decreased by 90 percent in the last 18 years.

Scientists investigating Côte d'Ivoire calculated that there remained just about 800-1,200 chimps out of 8,000-12,000 according to the data obtained in 1989-90. Before this exploration the country used to give sanctuary to a half of all West  African chimps.

The research carried out in 1989-90 also showed a considerable downfall comparing the results obtained in 1960s when there were about 100,000. West African Chimps in Côte d'Ivoire. On of the major reasons of this decline is the growth of human population since 1990. According to the study, human activity has led to more hunting and deforestation which started to threaten chimp's life safety. As it turned out, Marahoué National Park forfeited 93 percent of its tree cover in the last six years.

Most of the conservation areas have been occupied by people leaving no space for animals. The new report published in the journal Conservation Biology said that a similar decay may have happened in other countries which present West African chimpanzee habitats. It is considered that the largest remaining population of the subspecies inhabits Guinea. But this opinion is based on calculations made more than a decade ago.

The decline in West African chimps number deprives scientists of the opportunity to make an overall study of these subspecies. Jill Pruetz of Iowa State University said that scientists knew less about these species in comparison with their knowledge of the East African chimps. However, conservationists increase their efforts to protect western chimpanzees.

One of the places providing favorable conditions for these chimps is Taï National Park. The results of conservation work show that the number of apes remains stable there. Scientists consider that it's absolutely necessary to stop poaching; otherwise disappointing news may appear again.

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/10/081013-chimps-decline.html
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Posted by sharaeff

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