Biological Diversity 2001 Earlham College

This image is courtesy of the Zoological Society of Manitoba


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Hominidae
Species: troglodytes


This photo is courtesy of the Jane Goodall Organization


Conservation Organizations

ChimpHaven Inc.
This organization provides permanent homes to the many chimps who are no longer needed for biomedical research, entertainment, or as pets.

International Primate Protection League
IPPL works continuously for the well being of primates with representatives from 31 countries composed of experts from such fields as zoology to psychology. They work to create and preserve national parks and sanctuaries.

This international research program has been founded to better understand chimpanzees in zoos and other captive settings. This organization is used to improve the lives of chimps in captive and compare their behavior to that of the chimp in the wild.



The biomes that chimpanzees inhabit are tropical rainforests, tropical deciduous forest, tropical savanna, and grasslands (Pankopf, 2000). These biomes are found in Western and Central Africa (Oakland Zoo) and in Southeast Asia (Landau et al, 2000). A chimps diet consists of mostly fruits and vegetables, with small supplements of insects, bird eggs and meat. They spend between 6-8 hours a day searching for this food (King et al, 2000). These animals live in social groups and they communicate with a wide range of calls, postures, and gestures. They also like friendly contact between one another and can often be seen grooming each other (The Jane Goodall Institute, 2001). Chimpanzees have muscular bodies with long arms and short, slightly bowed legs that give them a sloping back (Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, 2000). They also have opposable thumbs and toes. Female chimps only mate during heat. During the final week of heat, males compete for mating rights. Chimps begin this mating process at around 8 years old. They produce one young, who spends their first 5-7 months on their mother's back (Pankopf, 2000).

Conservation Status

On the IUCN list, chimpanzees are listed under EN A2cd. This means that this species is endangered and are facing extinction in the wild (Hilton, 2000). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed chimpanzees in the wild of West and Central Africa as endangered, and the chimpanzees in captivity outside of natural range as threatened (2001). C.I.T.E.S. lists chimpanzees under their Appendix I, which means that this is a species threatened with extinction. Trade of this species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances (2000).

Conservation Issues

One of the many challenges that chimpanzees face in survival is due to the close anatomical association that they have with Homo sapiens. Biomedical research once consumed up to 90,000 chimpanzees a year. While this number has been reduced in recent years, chimps are still captured and bred for their use in research labs (Lekic, 1997).

A big concern to chimpanzees deals with the loss of their natural habitats. Forests in Southeast Asia, equatorial Africa, and Southeastern Brazil are being logged, colonized, and cleared for agriculture (Lekic, 1997). The loss of these forests cause many problems for chimpanzees and it increases their odds for extinction. They do not have their natural habitat to protect them anymore, and are instead forced out into the open to be hunted.

Hunting is also another problem chimpanzees face. The central and eastern subspecies are hunted in many areas (Hilton, 2000). Many people try to capture chimps and sell them in the pet trade. Chimps are so much like humans that there is a "virtually insatiable demand for them" (Lekic, 1997). Chimpanzees are often used in circuses, or for television shows and movies, because of their unique abilities and their likeness to humans.

Literature Cited

C.I.T.E.S. July 2000. The Cite Appendices I, II, and III. Accessed 2001 November 7

Hilton, Taylor C. 2000. 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed 2001 November 7

The Jane Goodall Institute. 2001. Chimpanzees. . Accessed 2001 November 11

King, James E. Ph. D, Landau, Virginia Ph. D, and Morbeck, Mary Ellen Ph. D. 2000. Chimpanzee Information. Accessed November 7

Lekic, Slobodan. Associated Press. 1997. Accessed November 11

Oakland Zoo. Animals A-Z. Accessed November 7

Pankopf, Kate. May 2000. Pan troglodytes. htttp:// Accessed November 7

Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. 2000. Chimpanzees and Bonobos. Accessed November 11

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. November 7, 2001. Species Information. Accessed November 7



Authors: ChaMia Gunn, Melissa Liffick, Joscelyn Mathis
Creation/revision date: 11 November 2001

Acanthaster planci Apis mellifera Capybara Chimpanzee Danaus plexippus Exciting Cephalopods Green Sea Turtle (H-R,K) Green Sea Turtle (B,M,C) Green Serpent Star Holothuroidea Hyenas Latimeria chalumnae Mudpuppy Northern Leopard Frog Pink Seafan Salamanders Scyphozoa Tuatara

This website is part of a Biology 26 class project on the conservation of global biodiversity.

Earlham · Biology Department · Biology 11: Biological Diversity

Copyright ©-2001 Earlham College. Revised 1 October 2001. Send corrections or comments to