Pan troglodytes ssp. ellioti

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES HOMINIDAE

Scientific Name: Pan troglodytes ssp. ellioti
Species Authority: (Gray, 1862)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Nigeria-Cameroon 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): Oates, J.F., Dunn, A., Greengrass, E. & Morgan, B.J.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A., Butynski, T.M. & Williamson, E.A. (Primate Red List Authority)
Justification:
Due to high levels of exploitation, loss of habitat and habitat quality due to 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.) 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 high degree of political instability in the range states. P. t. ellioti is the most threatened chimpanzee subspecies, with the smallest distribution and smallest population (estimated total population less than 6,500) and has suffered high rates of decline due to habitat loss. There are no specific conservation measures directed at this subspecies. Although it exists in a number of protected areas, poaching for bushmeat occurs in all of these areas with the exception of Nigeria's Gashaka-Gumti National Park, where that primates are not heavily hunted.
History:
2007 Endangered
2000 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:P. t. ellioti (Gray, 1862) is found only in Nigeria and Cameroon, north of the Sanaga River.
Countries:
Native:
Cameroon; Nigeria
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: P. t. ellioti is the least numerous subspecies with a total population of less than 6,500 individuals remaining (B. Morgan and J. Oates pers. comm. 2006). The only relatively large and secure population of P. t. ellioti is in Gashaka-Gumti National Park in Nigeria, with an estimated population of up to 1,500 (Oates et al. 2003).
Population Trend: Decreasing

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).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Citation: Oates, J.F., Dunn, A., Greengrass, E. & Morgan, B.J. 2008. Pan troglodytes ssp. ellioti. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 November 2014.
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