Infant chimpanzee eating greenery in the wild Infant chimpanzee eating greenery in the wild

Chimpanzee SAFE

A wild chimpanzee peeking from around a tree beneath SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction branding

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction focuses the collective expertise within accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their massive audiences to save species. Chimpanzees are now an official SAFE species. Find out how you can be part of the plan to save our closest living relatives.

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The Goal

The goal of this action plan is to improve the population status of all four chimpanzee subspecies through collaborative conservation action, stakeholder engagement, and public awareness.

The Challenge

Wild chimpanzee populations are dropping precipitously. Chimpanzees have already disappeared from four African countries and are nearing extinction in many others. In some regions, their numbers have declined by more than 80 percent in just over 25 years. Population declines are largely attributed to three primary threats: poaching, habitat loss, and infectious disease outbreaks.

We must act now to address these threats. Only with immediate, concerted action can we turn the tide and save these amazing animals from extinction.

Conservation Status

Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, represent an incredibly charismatic species that is under threat across Africa from the bushmeat trade, zoonotic disease, and severe habitat loss. Concerted, unified action is required in order to address these threats.

Despite commendable efforts from talented conservationists for more than 40 years, we are collectively losing the battle to save chimpanzees. Unfortunately, chimpanzee populations have experienced significant reductions since the turn of the century, a decline that is expected to continue unless the scale of conservation efforts greatly improves. Though the factors that contribute to the endangered status of chimpanzees are well understood, they have certainly not ceased and are difficult to reverse.

Luckily, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) can help. Through Chimpanzee SAFE, we can exercise our capacity for public outreach in order to shed light on the importance of chimpanzee conservation and provide ex situ support for in situ programs. We can also collaborate with field partners in order to develop a unified, working action plan that clearly delineates AZA involvement.

Together, we can SAVE chimpanzees.

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A map showing the locations of conservation sites in Africa

Program Partners

Wildlife Conservation Society logo

The Wildlife Conservation Society

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s program focuses on the rarest of the four subspecies, the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti). The project aims to strengthen levels of protection within key areas, increase awareness and local support for conservation, and build staff capacity to conduct wildlife monitoring and law enforcement.

Ngogo Chimpanzee Project logo

The Ngogo Chimpanzee Project

The Ngogo Chimpanzee Project (NCP) protects one of the largest and most important remaining populations of the eastern subspecies of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) by conducting snare-removal and anti-poaching patrols in Kibale National Park, Uganda.

Goualougo Triangle Ape Project logo

The Goualougo Triangle Ape Project

The Goualougo Triangle Ape Project (GTAP) aims to preserve the central chimpanzee subspecies (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in the Republic of Congo and trinational region by conducting research to better understand these apes, establishing conservation partnerships to affect regional and global policies, and building the capacity of national conservationists to sustain these efforts.

Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project logo

The Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project 

The Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project (TCP) is a community-based conservation program based out of Sierra Leone. This collaborative model encourages conservationists, researchers, and the local community to work together to protect the western subspecies of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) in a riverine farm-forest mosaic where humans and chimpanzees interact frequently.