National Geographic : 1992 Mar
Oilrfince widesp hout equal Storial Africa ad Sutheast Asia, ape populations hav been reduce o fragmented pockets. hei chief abi tats lie in forests under ebylog gers and by the inexoral huan need for cropland. War in Soteast Asia pushed several of the nne bon species onto the endangered list Also endangered, the orangutan is now found only in Sumatra and Borneo and numbers no more than 20,000. In Africa 320 mountain gorillas sur vive, vulnerable at any time to extinc tion by poaching or disease. Lowland gorillas number fewer than 50,000. The count for bonobos is 10,000 to 20,000 animals, all within Zaire, a nation plagued by civil unrest. The chimpanzee population has been reduced to about 200,000 ani mals scattered in 21 nations. Only three countries-Zaire, Gabon, and C6te d'Ivoire-count populations of more than 10,000 each. The very survival of the remaining wild apes may depend on the creation of well-patrolled reserves and a halt to the international ape trade. Estimated range 10,000 years ago Gibbon Orangutan in the 1960s; since then every chimp group studied has proven to use tools. And scientists have evidence that chimps and orangutans know how to use plants as medicines. Over the past three decades, intrepid souls like Goodall, George Schaller, Toshisada Nishida, Birute Galdikas, and Dian Fossey (some of them encouraged by anthropologist Louis Leakey) contended with disease and privation in the wild to produce the first extensive reports on the daily lives of great A CuriousKinship: Apes and Humans apes. Thanks to them, the picture of ape behavior has changed dramatically. Apes, once thought to live in a peaceable kingdom, are capable of killing one another. Infanticide has been observed among gorillas and chimps. These dark discoveries are lightened by reports of ape friendships and loving rela tionships between mothers and offspring. Now a new generation of scientists is build ing on that earlier research and laboring, with some desperation, to protect the apes INDONESIA| sm ____. ~i~ ____ _ ""