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Chimpanzee

Famous, beloved, highly-endangered, today’s Endangered All-Star, the chimpanzee, is limited to around twenty countries across equatorial Africa. Populations of four sub-species have shrunk rapidly over the past few decades and are expected to contract for the next 30-40 years due to habitat loss, exploitation of chimps as pets, and disease (including exposure to the Ebola virus). Fortunately, the chimp has a worldwide network of defenders, rallied by its greatest champion, Jane Goodall, whose Roots & Shoots program educates young people around the world about important campaigns to protect the environment. Rebirth the Earth: Trees for Tomorrow is one such effort, inspiring American kids to plant trees at home while raising money to support tree nurseries and reforestation in Tanzania, home of Gombe, Goodall’s famous chimpanzee research site. So far, the program has planted over 3,500 trees in the U.S. and raised more than $16,000 to support five tree nurseries in Tanzania. The Jane Goodall Institute also supports boycotts of chimps used in entertainment and helps in the fight against the bushmeat trade in Africa. Become a Chimp Guardian and learn more about chimps orphaned by bushmeat at the Jane Goodall Institute. There is also a fascinating interview with Goodall in The Guardian about her new book, Hope for Animals and their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink. “My job is to give people hope,” she says. “I’ve seen areas totally despoiled that have been brought back to life. Animals that were almost gone have, with captive breeding or protection in the wild, been given another chance. If we stop now, everything’s going to go. So we have to keep on doing our best for as long as we can, and if we’re going to die, let’s die fighting.”
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