Help Close a Deadly Loophole to Protect Chimpanzees
Speak up today to protect chimpanzees who can't defend themselves.
The worldwide population of wild chimpanzees has fallen by nearly 70 percent in the past 30 years. Wild chimpanzees have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1976, but a special rule exempting captive chimpanzees from protections is compromising conservation efforts.
Chimpanzees are endangered everywhere due to habitat loss, poaching and illegal trafficking. Wild chimpanzees are captured and sold for use as entertainment, as pets and as test subjects. The loophole in the Endangered Species Act creates a vicious cycle of supply and demand—Chimpanzees are exploited for entertainment, giving people the misconception that the species is common in the wild, which creates a demand for pet chimpanzees, which in turn leads to more poaching.
The exemption in the U.S. also undermines international chimpanzee conservation efforts. African nations see the animals being commercially exploited in America and have little incentive to protect them in their home range.
This loophole is preventing the recovery of chimpanzees in the wild by encouraging their illegal trade.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering whether to extend full protection to captive chimpanzees. Take action now in support of protecting all chimpanzees, both wild and captive, as an endangered species.
Deforested peat forest in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay
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