In Uganda there are only 4,950 chimpanzees left, there are an estimated 150,000 chimpanzees remaining in Africa.Chimpanzees and other primates can be seen in Uganda more easily than anywhere else in the world. They already attract many tourists and researchers that are visiting Uganda and generate revenue.
Chimpanzees share 98% of human genes making our closest living relative.
Organizations that conserve and study chimpanzees in Uganda include;
- Budongo Forest project
- Bwindi Ape Project
- Institute for Tropical Forest Conservation.
- Jane Goodall Institute
- Kibale Chimpanzee Project
- Kalinzu Chimpanzee Project
- Makerere University Biological Field station.
- Semuliki Chimpanzee project
- Wildlife Conservation Society
Threats to chimpanzees in Uganda
Chimpanzees are an endangered species because they are rare and declining rapidly across Africa. International laws protect chimpanzees because they are threatened by extinction. Their main cause of decline is due to the activities of people for example:
- Chimpanzees are losing their home in Uganda. In the past 15 years over 800 kms of forest has been cut down where chimpanzees live mostly in small patches outside protected areas- this is about twice the size of Budongo forest.
- Chimpanzees are hunted for meat in some parts of Uganda. It is illegal to hunt chimpanzees. Most chimpanzees get killed each year for meat in Africa than all the chimpanzees in Uganda.
- Chimpanzees are hunted for the pet trade. For every baby chimpanzee caught in the wild approximately 10 chimpanzees die in the process. It is illegal to capture, buy or sell chimpanzees.
- Chimpanzees are killed or maimed by wire traps set for antelopes in the forests. 25% of chimpanzees studied in Uganda have injuries from traps. It is illegal to hunt in forest reserves or national parks.
- Diseases recently in Uganda Chimpanzees were killed from the deadly Ebola Virus which killed human beings as well.