Chimpanzees in Guinea and in West Africa

  • Tatyana Humle
  • Rebecca Kormos
Part of the Primatology Monographs book series


The Western subspecies of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) is the second most endangered subspecies among the four recognized subspecies in Africa today. P. t. verus is patchily distributed and numbers between 21,300 and 55,600 individuals. P. t. verus is very rare or close to extinction in four West Africa countries, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. It has already disappeared from the wild in Togo and the Gambia. The subspecies is also possibly now extinct in Benin. P. t. verus, therefore, survives mainly in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali. Guinea is probably the country with the greatest number of chimpanzees in West Africa, with approximately 17,582 (8,113–29,011) chimpanzees nationwide. It is acknowledged today that the majority (more than 90%) of chimpanzees in Guinea are living outside protected areas. A large proportion of the chimpanzee population is believed to be living in the Fouta Djallon Region of Guinea, while it is estimated that a significant proportion also inhabits the forest region of Guinea. Hunting, poaching, the bush-meat and pet trade, and habitat loss variably threaten chimpanzee populations across different regions of Guinea. As human encroachment into chimpanzee habitat intensifies, the risk of disease transmission is also of increasing concern. This chapter aims to summarize the current status of P. t. verus across West Africa, as well as in Guinea, with a special focus on current and future threats.


Protected Area Wild Chimpanzee Chimpanzee Population Mining Concession Commercial Hunting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are particularly grateful to Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Yukimaru Sugiyama, Hiroyuki Takemoto, Makoto Shimada, David Brugière, Marie-Claude Fleury-Brugière, Janis Carter, Christelle Colin, Saliou Diallo, Christine Sagno, and Elhadj Ousmane Tounkara for all their valuable contributions to our current understanding of the status of chimpanzees in Guinea. We also wish to thank Christophe Boesch, Mohamed Bakarr, Tom Butynski, John Oates, and all the participants of the workshop organized in Abidjan in September 2002 for helping develop the 2003 Action Plan for the West African Subspecies of Chimpanzee, upon which much of the information provided in this chapter is based. Finally, we thank all the people throughout West Africa who endeavor to conserve chimpanzees and to ensure their viability in the region.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Anthropology and Conservation, The Marlowe BuildingUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  2. 2.BerkeleyUSA

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