As of 2014, 177,000 to 300,000 chimpanzees exist in the wild. The chimp population is decreasing as human activity degrades their primary habitat in equatorial Africa.
Chimpanzees are considered an endangered species. Communities of 15 to 150 are scattered throughout the forests of tropical Africa, with the largest amount residing in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Humans often employ slash-and-burn tactics to clear large portions of land for farming or ranching. Roads dissect portions of the forests, allowing miners and loggers to delve deeper into chimpanzee habitats. Poachers often hunt chimps to sell them as meat, pets or test subjects.
Disease is another major factor in the increasing mortality rate of chimps. They are so genetically similar to humans that many diseases are transmissible between species, such as Ebola.
Around 1960, the chimpanzee population numbered more than 1 million.