Great Ape Habitat In Africa Has Dramatically Declined
|October 17, 2012||Posted by Jeffery J. Smith under Environmental, News|
Great apes, our closest living relatives, are disappearing, their habitat encroached upon by ever increasing numbers of us.
by Matt Walker
Great apes, such as gorillas, chimps and bonobos, are running out of places to live, say scientists.
They have recorded a dramatic decline in the amount of habitat suitable for great apes, according to the first such survey across the African continent.
Eastern gorillas, the largest living primate, have lost more than half their habitat since the early 1990s.
Cross River gorillas, chimps and bonobos have also suffered significant losses, according to the study.
Details are published in the journal Diversity and Distributions.
In future studies, including socioeconomic data may help explain why apes still live in close proximity to people in some areas, while in most others they have disappeared.
“The situation is very dramatic, many of the ape populations we still find today will disappear in the near future,” Dr Kuehl told BBC Nature. “In an increasingly crowding world with demand for space, wood, mineral resources, and meat, apes will continue to disappear.