Defenders of Wildlife
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Chimpanzee faces are pinkish to black, and the apes' bodies are covered with long black hair. Chimps lack a tail. Their opposable thumbs and toes help them grasp objects easily. Chimpanzees are quadrupedal, which means that they walk on all four limbs, although they can also walk upright (bipedal) for short distances.
Standing approximately 4 feet high, males weigh between 90 and 120 pounds, while females weigh between 60 and 110 pounds.
An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 chimpanzees remain in the wild.
Chimpanzees rarely live past the age of 50 in the wild, but have been known to reach the age of 60 in captivity.
Chimpanzees can be found in 21 African countries.
Chimps prefer dense tropical rainforests but can also be found in secondary-growth forests, woodlands, bamboo forests, swamps, and even open savannah.
Chimpanzees are omnivores, meaning they eat a wide variety of foods that includes fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects. Chimps occasionally hunt and eat meat.
Chimps live in communities. These communities are composed of family groups of three to six individuals, totaling about 50 animals. Hierarchies are formed by the adult males of the community, which is led by one alpha (the highest) male. Adolescent females may move freely between communities, although territory is strictly patrolled and conflicts can occur between neighbors.
Most mothers give birth to one young an average of every five to six years in the wild. Young chimps stay with their mothers for up to 10 years.
Habitat destruction is the greatest threat of the chimpanzee. Large population decreases are also blamed on hunting and commercial exportation.
*CITES, Appendix I, Endangered Species Act
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if it does not harm their survival.