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Great apes in Africa face dramatic habitat loss- Study

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Great apes in Africa face dramatic habitat loss- Study

The habitat of great apes such as gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees will shrink drastically in Africa over the next 30 years, a study by more than 60 scientists has shown.

According to research from the journal Diversity and Distributions, up to 85% of the current range of monkeys will no longer be habitable by mid-century.

Habitat destruction is closely linked to climate change, deforestation and the growth of the human population.

Gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees face “a bleak future,” said Dr Ilka Herbinger of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), co-author of the study.

“In many parts of Africa, our closest relatives are threatened with extinction very soon,” she said.

Herbinger called for an end to “the collapse of the climate” and the “destruction of forests” to mitigate a mass extinction of great apes.

According to the study, first published on Sunday, it is also crucial for the survival of African great apes to maintain and establish “connections and corridors” between habitats that could be a refuge in the future.

For example, mountain ranges are currently less suitable habitats for some great ape species, but this is expected to change with global warming.

Animals could theoretically survive if they could migrate from the plains to the mountains.

The study was the first to examine the effects of climate change, land use and the growth of the entire human population on the future range of gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos.

Currently, all African great apes are listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as either endangered or critically endangered. (Dpa / NAN)

(NAN)

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