Jane Goodall recently spoke on The World Today about the threats toward chimpanzee populations with Conor Duffy, a correspondent for the show. What she had to say about where the chimpanzee population was one hundred years ago, where it was when Jane Goodall started her research, and where it is now is very depressing.
“it was two million a hundred years ago approximately, about a million when I began in 1960. Only about 125,000 now, which is nothing really spread over 21 countries. With the only really significant populations being in the great Congo Basin, and there we have the problem of foreign logging companies making roads deep into the heart of previously impenetrable forests and the hunters going in now, because they’ve got the road and they’ve got the transport of the logging trucks, and shooting everything, not the subsistence hunting that’s kept people alive for hundreds and hundreds of years, but commercial hunting: elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, antelopes, monkeys, everything is shot, down to the bigger birds and bats, and smoked, and now it’s crept into the towns where the urban elite pay more for it than they do for chicken or goat.”
Goodall ends the conversation saying that with at most 15 years chimpanzee populations will be wiped out if we do not intensify our conservation efforts.