Editor's Note: Katie L. ('18) wrote this paper on endangered chimpanzees for her advanced chemistry class.
I chose to read an article about the classification of chimpanzee’s population status. It discussed how chimpanzees are currently classified as an “endangered species” as of September 14, 2015 under the Endangered Species Act which was put in place in 1873 in order to protect and recover any specie that is at risk of being instinct or that our ecosystem depends on. Since chimpanzees are an officially endangered species, scientists are now required to have a specific permit before they can preform any biomedical experiments on chimpanzees. The article goes on to describe the tedious process of qualifying for a chimpanzee experiment permit; you must prove that your research would benefit the survival of the species. But besides research that directly pertains to the expansion of chimp population, no future experiments will be conducted on chimpanzees any time in the near future. Also, laboratories that previously privately owned chimpanzees are now in search of sanctuaries and other places to put their chimps into retirement because they are now unable to keep them in laboratories. To me, it is interesting to read about how a species that is not massively hunted could become endangered purely due to human effects. Human diseases or illnesses can greatly affect chimps; when a human enters a forest where chimpanzees live diseases spread quickly because we share such similar DNA with chimpanzees they are at risk to a lot of the same pathogens. Other reasons chimps are endangered are due to poachers that illegally hunt chimps, the deforestation of chimp’s natural habitat, and are another reason the chimp population is so low. I think it is important for us, as humans, to be more aware of our surrounding for the future, because ideally we do not want any more species to be endangered, and especially not due to humans. Also this article made me more conscious of humans are able to transfer diseases like Ebola in particular, and it is a shame to find that our activities tarnish the previously pristine habitat of chimpanzee’s.