In both Africa and Asia, great apes – bonobos, eastern and western gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans – are rapidly losing much of their forest habitat to human activities such as agriculture, mining, and commercial logging.
Many African great ape populations are found in areas where civil wars are raging, making conservation difficult if not impossible. The hunting of forest animals for bushmeat, once a subsistence activity, has become a major commercial enterprise throughout west and central Africa.
Habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as susceptibility to disease, also threaten some species and populations.
Asia's only great ape, the orangutan, is also in deep trouble. Its last remaining strongholds in the rainforests of Sumatra (Indonesia) and the island of Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia) are being destroyed by illegal logging, a proliferation of palm oil plantations, and by widespread forest fires, many set by plantation owners.
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