Chimpanzees, native to the continent of Africa, are our closest living relatives, sharing more than 98% of our genetic blueprint. Today, there are estimated to be merely 170,000-300,000 chimpanzees left in Africa, and their population is decreasing rapidly.
The primary threats to chimpanzees are habitat destruction, hunting, and disease. The increasing human population is intruding ever deeper into even protected areas of chimpanzee habitats. Subsistence hunting is nothing new, but there is now a thriving but unsustainable commercial market for chimpanzee bushmeat. In conjunction to this, increased contact with humans, both local people and tourists, has brought the threat of diseases, which may be mild in humans but lethal to chimps.