It is recognised as the most threatened and least distributed of all the common chimpanzee subspecies. The Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee is classified as Endangered (EN A4cd) on the IUCN Red List. It has the smallest geographic range and the smallest population of all the Chimpanzee subspecies. This means it has a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.
Very little is known about the ecology, behaviour, culture and exact conservation status of Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees. Urgent research, conservation and education activities are needed to save this species for future generations.
The IUCN Red List classifies the Eastern Chimpanzee as Endangered.
South West Province, East Province, Cameroon
South Kivu, DR Congo
Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti)
Eastern chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii)
The two main threats to the survival of Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees are poaching and habitat loss. Illegal hunting of chimpanzees to supply the bushmeat trade is a direct threat to their survival as a species.
Chimpanzees are sometimes hunted with guns, but they are also caught in snares set for other rainforest animals. This has a devastating impact on chimpanzee families and populations.
The other threat is habitat loss and degradation – their home is lost, degraded and fragmented by agriculture, logging, grazing and fire. Even forest reserves are being converted to farmland and to commercial oil-palm and rubber plantations.
The project establishes trees nurseries and a community based reforestation programme in the area. Involving the local communities to grow trees instead of chopping them down will benefit the local economy and ecosystem, including the animals and plant life. Mozambique is experiencing a rapid decline in food security due to impact of climate change and extreme weather variability. The project seeks to improve livelihood and enhance food security among vulnerable groups in the area. An apiculture project will add a key social enterprise that contributes to improved food security, household incomes, and conservation of biological diversity. The project provides training, materials and ongoing value chain and marketing support. Beekeeping in wooded areas will also be a large incentive to prevent the destruction of forested areas, which are burnt by uncontrolled fires annually during the dry season. The beehives will protect the forest because community members will not set fire to a forest when their beehives are inside. The forests are needed for honey production and honey producers do not want their investment and source of income destroyed.