Nigeria declares new conservation zone for most threatened chimpanzee

The government of Nigeria’s Ekiti state has issued an executive order establishing a conservation area within the Ise Forest Reserve, where about 20 Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees are believed to survive. With perhaps as few as 3,500 left in the wild, the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee faces threats including hunting, logging and forest clearing for agriculture across its range. Upgrading the reserve to a conservation area will put stricter forest-protection measures in place. Before doing so, conservationists say they will work to gain the consent and support of forest-dependent communities in the area. Nigeria’s Ekiti state government has moved to establish a conservation area within the Ise Forest Reserve, an important step toward protecting the habitat of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee ( Pan troglodytes ellioti) . The 46-square-kilometer (18-square-mile) forest reserve is deemed an important priority site for the subspecies, the most threatened type of chimpanzee. Its total population, which occurs in the forested border areas of Nigeria and Cameroon, is projected to number between 3,500 and 9,000 in the wild. Fewer than 20 individuals are believed to survive in Ise, distributed across an area of 32 km2 (12 mi2). While already established as a reserve, the Ise Forest is surrounded by farmland and […]

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