What are Bonobos?
Bonobos are one of the 4 Great Apes, and like many of their ape cousins, they are quickly declining in population. There are an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 bonobos left in the wild, and this small population is fragmented and decreasing.
What is causing their population decline, and how can we change it?
The primary threats include Habitat degradation, poaching and hunting, and disease.
Habitat Degradation is caused by the slash and burn techniques that are still used in the Congo. This practice quickly depletes the soil of its nutrients and requires the clearing of new plots every few planting cycles. This pushes agricultural activity deeper into the rain-forest and destroys the bonobo's natural habitat. A large amount of the deforestation is due to logging and palm oil farms. Check out our blog post on palm oil for more information on how you can indirectly help!
Poaching and hunting are increasing in recent years due to a lack of available food sources in areas where human populations are increasing and poverty levels are following the same trend. Poor infrastructure and sporadic war has caused natives to hunt and smoke bushmeat including apes because it is oftentimes the only available protein source. While we can't force people to starve by completely stopping the bushmeat, we can help by reducing the lack of proteins available.
Disease also continues to spread as human contact increases. Many apes are dying due to ebola outbreaks. By reducing the need for humans to push further into the forest, we can decrease the likelihood of disease.
By donating to the Bonobo conservation Initiative you will be helping save the lives of these endangered species. If you purchase a Bonobo Booty Program, we will donate 10% of the profits to the cause as well.