Magazine article Geographical

Weathering the Ebola Storm

Magazine article Geographical

Weathering the Ebola Storm

Article excerpt

Habitat loss is, most people would assume, the biggest threat to chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos, followed by the bush meat and exotic pet trade. However, some scientists and conservationists suspect that currently the single biggest threat to the continued survival of Africa's apes could actually be Ebola.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Certainly, the virus, which causes severe haemorrhagic fever in both humans and apes, is even more deadly for the great apes than it is for humans. An estimated 77 per cent of chimpanzees that catch the virus die of it and, in certain areas, a staggering 95 per cent of gorillas succumb to the disease (for humans, meanwhile, the mortality rate stands at 50 per cent). Some conservationists have even, controversially, said that a third of the planet's wild chimpanzees and gorillas have been killed by the virus since the early 1990s.

Guinea has the largest population of chimpanzees in West Africa; an estimated 20,000 chimps eke out an increasingly perilous existence here. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.