Endangerment of Great Apes

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Great Apes are at the brink of extinction due to deforestation, hunting, and bushmeat trade. Our closest cousins are now viewed as economic commodities rather than valuable agents to the environment and humanity. In order to explore this issue, there must be an examinitation of why primate populations are dwindling, if these populations can replenish themselves, and what measures the international community is taking to alleviate the problem.
Bushmeat is a popular source of animal protein in West and Central Africa. With population rates on the rise, demand for bushmeat is projected to double in two decades. A study found that over 50 percent of the meat sold in markets was wild game with sales estimated at $50 million. Primate meat accounts for 20 percent of that income. The off-take of hunting is not sustainable. Even in circumstances where apes inhabit legally protected forces, it has been reported that chimpanzees are hunted in 50 percent of their protected areas, bonobos in 88 percent and gorillas in 56 percent.
The devastating effects of hunting are made worse by logging companies that “provide the physical and social infrastructure for this anarchic exploitation. They supply the roads, workers, and ammunition to carry out this growing un-policed commercial enterprise. In the case of the Brazilian Amazon, the building of major roads for loggers to enter inaccessible regions has caused major forest loss, which directly threatens primate populations.
More than 90 percent of primate species live in African, Asian, and Neotropic rain forests. Any outside force that alters the size and structure of these forests will directly affect primate populations. The major players that cause habitat...

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