Chimpanzees Deemed Endangered by U.S.—What's It Mean?
Captive apes now enjoy the same protections as their wild brethren, but many retired research chimps still don't have a place to go, advocates say.
All chimpanzees are now listed as endangered by the United States, a ruling meant to better protect those apes in captivity, the government announced Friday.
The decision, which goes into effect September 14, follows a 2013 proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to toss out the legal distinction between wild and captive chimpanzees.
Wild chimpanzees were listed as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1990, while captive chimpanzees were designated as a threatened species, a classification that carries fewer protections. The U.S. is home to 1,724 captive chimpanzees, 730 of which reside in labs.
The only "split listing" in the agency’s history, this was an attempt to encourage captive breeding of chimpanzees and thus