Pan troglodytes ssp. schweinfurthii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Hominidae

Scientific Name: Pan troglodytes ssp. schweinfurthii
Species Authority: (Giglioli, 1872)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Chimpanzee
Taxonomic Notes: Chimpanzee taxonomy remains an active area of research. Four subspecies are commonly recognized: the West African Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes verus; the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee P. t. ellioti; the Central Chimpanzee P. t. troglodytes; and the Eastern Chimpanzee P. t. schweinfurthii. Recent mitochondrial DNA work (Gonder et al. 2006) shows that schweinfurthii is embedded in troglodytes, and suggests that there are only two major clades of chimpanzees: Pan troglodytes ellioti in West Africa and P. t. troglodytes in Central and East Africa. Based on recent nuclear DNA work, as well as considerations of the overall similarity in behaviour and morphology of the proposed subspecies, Fischer et al. (2006) argue that differences between chimpanzee populations are too small to warrant subspecific designations. While the appropriate taxonomic labelling for different chimpanzee populations remains unresolved, the relative importance of different threats faced by chimpanzees varies across Africa, making a regional approach valuable for conservation purposes. We, therefore, use a four-subspecies classification system here, recognizing that future work may lead to a consensus recognizing more or fewer subspecies.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A4cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Wilson, M.L., Balmforth, Z., Cox, D., Davenport, T., Hart, J., Hicks, C., Hunt, K.D., Kamenya, S., Mitani, J.C., Moore, J., Nakamura, M, Nixon, S., Plumptre, A.J. & Reynolds, V.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Williamson, E.A. (Primate Red List Authority)
Due to high levels of exploitation, loss of habitat and habitat quality as a result of expanding human activities, this subspecies is estimated to have experienced a significant population reduction in the past 20 to 30 years (one generation is estimated to be 20 years: Boesch and Boesch-Achermann 2000, Emery Thompson et al. in prep., Gombe long-term records, unpubl.) and it is suspected that this reduction will continue for the next 30 to 40 years. The maximum population reduction over a three-generation (i.e., 60 year) period from the 1970s to 2030 is suspected to exceed 50%, hence qualifying this taxon for Endangered under criterion A4. The causes of the reduction, although largely understood, have certainly not ceased and are not easily reversible. The suspected future continuation of the population reduction is a precautionary approach based on the rapidly increasing human population density in the region and the degree of political instability in some range states. Some populations of this subspecies appear to be stable, particularly east of the Albertine Rift, and in well-managed protected areas. However, even in these areas, human population growth, construction of new roads, and conversion of forest and woodland to agriculture are all expected to adversely affect chimpanzee populations.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2007 Endangered (EN)
2000 Endangered (EN)
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1988 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:P. t. schweinfurthii (Giglioli, 1872) ranges from the Ubangi River/Congo River in Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to western Uganda, Rwanda and western Tanzania (with small, relict populations in Burundi and south-eastern Sudan).
Countries occurrence:
Burundi; Central African Republic; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Rwanda; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:See species-level assessment (Pan troglodytes).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Chimpanzees are found predominantly in moist and dry forests, and forest galleries extending into savanna woodlands. They are omnivorous, and their diet is highly variable according to individual populations and seasons. Fruit comprises about half the diet, but leaves, bark, and stems are also important. Mammals comprise a small but significant component of the diet of many populations. Chimpanzees form social communities of 5 to 150 animals. Home ranges are larger in woodland forest mosaics than in mixed forest, and average 12.5 km² (range 5 to 400 km²).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): See species-level assessment (Pan troglodytes).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: See species-level assessment (Pan troglodytes).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Unknown  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Unknown  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (comps and eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Hilton-Taylor, C. (ed.). 2000. 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Lee, P. C., Thornback, J. and Bennett, E. L. 1988. Threatened Primates of Africa: The IUCN Red Data Book. IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre (CMC), Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Citation: Wilson, M.L., Balmforth, Z., Cox, D., Davenport, T., Hart, J., Hicks, C., Hunt, K.D., Kamenya, S., Mitani, J.C., Moore, J., Nakamura, M, Nixon, S., Plumptre, A.J. & Reynolds, V. 2008. Pan troglodytes ssp. schweinfurthii. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T15937A5324021. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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