Scientists and conservationists are taking a number of steps to help save chimpanzees, including listing them as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, monitoring their population and habitat, prosecuting those who hunt chimpanzees illegally and protecting their habitat. Additionally, as the quality of life experienced by the local humans affects conservation efforts, many chimpanzee-oriented organizations are attempting to improve the lives of citizens who live alongside chimpanzees.
When chimpanzee habitats are divided by roads, towns and factories, their populations become fragmented. This can lead to stress for the animals, who depend on their social structure for survival. Within the last few decades, conservationists have taken great strides to protect chimpanzee habitats. Using 21st-century technology, conservationists monitor chimpanzee habitat with the help of satellite photographs, infrared imaging and smartphones.
Because of the cultural, scientific, ecological and economic importance of chimpanzees, the World Wildlife Fund, or WWF, treats them as a “priority species.” This categorization allows the organization to allocate additional resources to the fight to protect the chimpanzees. In addition to some of the typical factors that threaten chimpanzees, such as habitat destruction and poaching, their close relationship to humans forces them to cope with diseases such as Ebola.