Human Expansion Squeezing Out Bonobo Populations In The Congo
The bonobo, formerly known as the pygmy chimpanzee, is quickly losing space in a world with growing human populations, according to the most detailed range-wide assessment ever conducted.
The study, published in Biodiversity and Conservation, reveals that the loss of usable habitat is attributed to both forest fragmentation and poaching.
The international team included researchers from University of Georgia, University of Maryland, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), ICCN (Congolese Wildlife Authority), African Wildlife Foundation, Zoological Society of Milwaukee, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Max Planck Institute, Lukuru Foundation, University of Stirling, Kyoto University, and other groups.
The team analyzed data from nest counts and remote sensing imagery, finding that the bonobo — one of humankind’s closest relatives — avoids areas of high human activity and forest fragmentation. The model developed by the team reveals that as little as 29 percent of the bonobo’s historical range remains suitable.