Observe chimpanzees in Djouroutou !
The critically endangered western chimpanzees living in the Taï National Park are unique. They use more than 26 tools, and are especially well known for their nut cracking skills. They hunt as in coordinated teams, and have shown to adopt orphans who have lost their mothers. The Taï chimpanzees have been studied by Professor Christophe Boesch from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology since 1979. Numerous studies have led to hundreds of scientific articles and several books being published on these chimpanzees.
The Taï Chimpanzees are featured in the Disneynature “Chimpanzee” movie, narrating the story of Oscar, a young chimpanzee, from infancy to teenage years.
The Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) is one of the five great ape species belonging to the Hominid family. From the four described chimpanzee subspecies, the western chimpanzee is the subspecies in greatest threat of extinction. Since September 2016, western chimpanzees are classified as critically endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species, because their population size has decreased by 80% in the past 20 years. Recent population estimates suggest that only 18,000 – 65,000 western chimpanzees remain in the wild.
Chimpanzees are important for forest conservation: due to their longevity, wide daily ranging in their large territories (several kilometres each day), and their fruit consumption; for which they guarantee seed dispersal, essential for forest regeneration.
Chimpanzees are very shy, and normally flee when humans come close. Chimpanzees must be habituated to human presence to be able to view them in their natural habitat. This process can take more than 5 years.
At the Djouroutou ecotourism site in the Taï National Park, the habituation process is ongoing and visitors can already observe chimpanzees there.