Factsheet: African Great Apes
African great apes are ‘flagship’ species for their habitats - that is, charismatic representatives of the biodiversity within the complex ecosystems they inhabit. Because these animals need a lot of space to survive, their conservation will help maintain biological diversity and ecological integrity over extensive areas and so help many other species.
In 2002 WWF launched the African Great Apes Programme. Drawing on over 40 years of experience in great ape conservation, the programme's long-term aim is to conserve viable populations of all species and sub-species of African great apes, through improving protection and management, increasing public support, establishing conservation policies and laws to protect apes and their habitat, and reducing illegal trade in great apes and their body parts.