Every four hours one chimpanzee is illegally taken from the wild.

There are five main threats to chimpanzee populations:

Illegal wildlife trade in chimpanzees

In the last 10 years, over 14,000 chimps have been lost to the illegal wildlife trade. Chimpanzees are traded as pets and performers in zoos as infants, but in order to be taken from the wild, poachers typically slaughter up to 10 adults. These adults are killed not only because they will desperately defend their babies, but because the poachers will also be able to sell them for bushmeat.

Take a look at David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s position against the chimpanzee trade in our Chimpanzee Trade Statement.

Poaching Chimpanzees for Bushmeat

There is currently an unsustainable and thriving demand for chimpanzee meat in markets across Africa, contributing to the overall demand for bushmeat, which is now a billion-dollar industry.

Habitat Destruction

Guinea’s human population has more than doubled in less than 20 years (from 6 million in 1990 to 13 million in 2019). Between 1990 and 2000, Guinea lost an average of 50,400 hectares of forest per year. This extreme population growth has resulted in an expansion of agricultural land, destroying key chimp habitats and putting pressure on already stressed landscapes.

Human-Wildlife Conflict

Due to the shrinking habitats, humans and chimpanzees are forced to live closer together, which can result in retaliatory killings if chimpanzees hunt or graze on crops and farmland. Shrinking habitats and competition for space also means humans are exposed more regularly to wild chimps, increasing the interest and demand as a resource for either food or money.


Chimpanzees are extremely susceptible to diseases, especially those transmitted by humans, as they do not have the immune system to fight them.

Protecting Chimpanzees

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) works to protect chimpanzees by funding emergency rescue missions to save chimpanzees taken from the wild and education initiatives that reach remote communities who are most likely to become involved in the illegal trade of chimpanzees. We also campaign internationally to stop the illegal wildlife trade. Find out how DSWF is working to protect chimpanzees.

How to Help Chimpanzees

Please help us protect chimpanzees: