Humans’ closest relatives are threatened with extinction
Sadly, all apes are listed as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ . This means they are nosediving towards extinction. The reasons for their decline are continuing deforestation, soaring levels of poaching and a surge in the illegal pet trade. Our ‘adopt an ape’ campaign aims to highlight their plight and fund solutions.
Apes play a crucial role in our eco-system
Remember learning about the food webs at school? This will help you to fully understand the importance of apes within our ecosystem. Apes play a vital role as “umbrella” species. They ensure a healthy and diverse forest. Their diet consists of large amounts of forest fruit, leaves and vegetables. Consequently, they spread these seeds as they travel great ranges to find their preferred food. Crucially, they promote plant regeneration and this provides food for a vast array of other species. So, apes promote strong forest regeneration.
Therefore, the disappearance of apes from ecosystems significantly impacts the survival of other species and of our much needed forests. Of course, these are vital for the survival of humans too!
WHAT ARE APES ACTUALLY ?
Differing from monkeys due to their lack of a tail, apes have broader chests and shoulder joints. This allows them to swing rather than run and jump through trees. Despite there being only a handful of ape species, they generally pose a higher level of intelligence than the hundreds of monkey species. Through time and development, ape vocalisations led to humans being able to verbally communicate as we do today.