Center for Biological Diversity

Close a Deadly Loophole, Protect Chimpanzees Everywhere

chimpanzee
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Please speak up to protect chimpanzees who can't defend themselves. The worldwide population of wild chimpanzees has fallen by nearly 70 percent in the past 30 years.

Wild chimpanzees have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1976, but a special rule exempting captive chimpanzees from protection is compromising conservation efforts. This loophole is preventing the recovery of the species in the wild by encouraging their illegal trade.
   
Chimpanzees are endangered everywhere due to habitat loss, poaching and illegal trafficking -- wild chimpanzees are captured and sold for use as entertainment, as pets and as test subjects. The loophole in the Act creates a vicious cycle of supply and demand: Chimpanzees are exploited for entertainment, giving people the misconception that the species is common in the wild, which creates a demand for pet chimpanzees, which in turn leads to more poaching.

The exemption in the United States also undermines international chimpanzee conservation efforts. African nations see the animals being commercially exploited in America and have little incentive to protect them in their home range.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering whether to protect captive chimpanzees under the Endangerd Species Act. Please use the form below to submit comments in support of protecting every endangered chimpanzee.

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Please take action by Jan 30, 2012.

Photo of chimpanzee courtesy Flickr Creative Commons/Chi King.

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