The Bonobo

Bonobos are a type of monkey that look extremely similar to chimpanzees. However bonobos are nicer and more caring, calm creatures. The bonobo’s share 98.7% of their DNA with humans making them very intelligent and also are closest living relatives. The bonobo however is a very endangered species leaving only a population of 10,000–50,000. Bonobos weigh about 68–86 pounds and are 28–35 inches tall. Unlike chimpanzees, their society are led by the calm females. Bonobos are good at maintaining relationships and solving problems through sex. Female bonobos form a sisterhood and come together, and when they reach adulthood they start reproducing.

Role of Bonobos in the ecosystem: In the forests bonobos live in, there are an imense amount of plants that use animals to disperse their seeds. Bonobos are a key player in this process. According PhD advisor David Beaune, “During each life of a bonobo they will ingest and disperse nine tons of seeds, from more than 91 species of lianas, grass, trees, and shrubs.” Behavior of bonobos will affect the population of plants and how they will give out their seeds. Without bonobos, plants will struggle and the Congo rainforest will slowly suffer.

Bonobos reside in forest’s south of the Congo river in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The remote nature of their habitat and the years of civil unrest within the Democratic Republic of Congo are slowing down the progress of surveying the species. The areas around the bonobos are increasing causing deforestation. This is threatening the bonobo population and causing low reproductive rates. Bonobos are losing their habitat. The protected areas for bonobos are scarce. With the immense human population and the growth in commercial areas, bonobos are losing their homes.

Bonobos lives are important! They share our DNA! Groups of hunters are invading the Salonga National Park, ( one protected area for bonobos).Disease transmission is also another concern that is wiping out the bonobo populationThe civil welfare needs to be controlled or the increase in modern weapons will only increase the hunting and killings of the scared bonobo. People hunt them to eat them, trade, and keep them as pets for medical use. (Certain parts of the bonobo are believed to enhance sexual strength).

Bonobos are not pets and certainly are not food!

Save the bonobos! Support WWF (world wild life) or adopt a bonobo! for more info visit: www.worldwildlife.org/species/bonobo

Sources:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256303376_The_Ecological_Role_Of_The_Bonobo_seed_disperal_service_in_congo_forests

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/bonobo

http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/bonobos_aug13.html

www.animalfactguide.com/animal-facts/bonobo

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