Threats to Great Ape PopulationsOrangutan


Forests provide the elements of a habitat for its inhabinants; food, water, shelter and space.  Deforestation means the loss of these esential habitats.


With scarce fertile soils, and growing human populations, area farmers have started to use up more land faster.  In some cases they have taken drastic measures; clearing and burning whole hillsides, while only using a plot of land for one or two harvests before moving on. A lot of this land is being cleared for Oil Palm Plantations.

Roads, Disease & Bushmeat

Development drives the need for more roads; roads break up habitats, which allows poachers easier access into areas. Roads also fuel the introduction of invasive species, and human diseases that apes are susceptible to.

Mineral Extraction

There is a mineral called Coltan which is found in the rainforests of the Republic of Congo.  Coltan is used in electronic capacitors, particularly found in cell phones, laptop computers and game consoles.  The increased popularity of cell phones and laptops has had a direct affect of the Republic of Congo’s rainforests.

Saving the Great Apes is As Easy as 1,2,3!

Zoos are an important part of ape conservation. Support the apes at the ABQ BioPark with two fun events:


Your dollar can really make a difference.

Be A Conscious Consumer

What we buy affects animal habitats.  Look for palm oil and coffee that comes from sustainable sources. 

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has more information on the palm oil crisis and a downloadable shopping guide.

Recycle Your Old Electronics

This will not only protect the environment from hazardous chemicals leaching into the ground. It is also a simple way to reduce the need for additional coltan to be mined from critical habitat areas.


Our Actions Matter

Learn More  

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International  http://gorillafund.org/

Dian Fossey founded the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in 1978.  This organization is dedicated to the conservation and protection of gorillas and their African habitat.  They are committed to gorilla research and providing education about the relevance of wild gorillas in the world.

Jane Goodall Institute  http://www.janegoodall.org/

The founder and namesake of the Jane Goodall Institute, is a world renowned primatologist.  The Goodall Institute's missions is to empower individuals through education and conservation.  With a focus on improving global understanding of great apes, they are working to create a world wide network of people who will take responsabiltiy for the preservation of great apes and their habitats by promoting local sustainable living. 

Pan African Sanctuary Alliance  http://www.pasaprimates.org/

The PASA is an alliance of sixteen primate sanctuaries from all over Africa.  Sanctuaries for primates are essential to the care and conservation of wild primate populations.  The PASA provides the best care and management for the animals in their sanctuaries.  They also work towards the rehabilitation and release of orphaned primates. 

Orangutan Foundation International  http://www.orangutan.org/

The mission of the Orangutan Foundation International is to support the conservation, protection, and the understanding of orangutans and their rainforest habitat while also caring for ex-captive orangutan orphans as they are reintroduced into the wild.  They are also working towards teaching children and government officials about the issues surrounding orangutan populations.

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources  http://www.iucnredlist.org/

World Wildlife Fund  http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/finder/greatapes/greatapes.html



UNEP World Conservation "World Atlas of Great Apes and their Conservation" 2005

Bourton, Jody.  "Scale of Gorilla Poaching Exposed" Earth News

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Threats to Chimpanzee Survival Jane Goodall Institute of Canada