ENDANGERED: The Bonobo
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The Bonobo is one of our 'closest living relatives...shar[ing] 98.7% of their genetic code with humans'. The species can grow to a maximum of four feet. Despite this, but sadly not unexpectedly, the species' decline and suffering is the direct consequence of human actions.
Because the species live in only one country, the impacts of human actions are deeply felt throughout the population. The African Wildlife Foundation claims that 'recent surveys show that many areas had bonobos 20 years ago but now they have none'.
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Why are they suffering?
In addition, Bonobos are hunted for food, trading, to keep as pets, and 'for use in traditional medicine'.
The species are also victims of an increasing human population, as well as ''slash-and-burn agriculture and...logging'.
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WWF writes: 'Civil unrest in the region around the bobobo's home territory has led to many bonobo deaths, as gangs of poachers have been free to invade Salonga National Park, one of few protected areas for bonobos.
What is being done to save the Bonobo?
Organisations such as African Wildlife Foundation and WWF are working within the DRC to help protect remaining populations.
AWF has created The Lomako Conservation Science Center, which 'supports wildlife surveys, training of Congolese researchers and developing wildlife conservation plans'.
As well as this, AWF works with communities, guiding them towards more Bonobo-friendly actions.
WWF are working to 'monitor populations' and 'protect the remaining habitats' and creating nature reserves.
Lead Image Credit: Fanny Schertzer via Wikimedia Commons