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If you educate yourself about the bushmeat trade and help spread the word about why it must stop, you will be making a meaningful contribution to the fight to save chimpanzees and other endangered species. Below are some key facts plus information about topics you may want to explore further.

  • The commercial bushmeat trade is the large-scale killing of wild animals. Many of the animals killed include endangered species such as chimpanzees.
  • The illegal commercial bushmeat trade is one of the most serious threats to chimpanzees.
  • Many chimpanzees live in forests where logging companies work. You can see this and explore other datasets in the [ Bushmeat Crisis Task Force Interactive Mapper].
  • As logging companies cut out roads in virgin forests, hunters, many armed with guns, are able to drive into chimpanzee habitat.
  • In some areas where great apes live, an influx of laborers means smoked ape meat becomes a commodity like never before.
  • Hunters can have devastating effects on local great ape populations.
  • Eating wild meat has become a status symbol for many wealthy city dwellers.
  • It is illegal to kill and consume endangered species, including chimpanzees.
  • Bushmeat is a public health problem. Because diseases can travel between humans and chimpanzees, everyone is at risk―even the consumer. A Wildlife Conservation Society investigation unearthed simian foamy virus in bushmeat smuggled into New York City.
  • “Addressing the bushmeat crisis requires a diversity of approaches, from conducting anti-poaching operations to educating children about the importance of biodiversity and sustainability.”
  • JGI works to help communities develop sustainable livelihoods that reduce pressure on the forest―and its inhabitants. One method of addressing this challenge is to help communities find alternative protein sources. We also work to educate communities about the importance of biodiversity.

click here to see a video clip on the illegal bushmeat trade

Did You Know

Hunters will take babies after killing their families and try to sell them on the black market as pets. JGI works with authorities to put the confiscated babies in sanctuaries.

Read about JGI's Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo. Watch the video to meet four young victims of the illegal commercial bushmeat trade who are now living at Tchimpounga.