U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Protection for All Chimpanzees – Captive and Wild – as Endangered
Following additional legal determinations about the application of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a proposal to classify both wild and captive chimpanzees as endangered. The decision reflects growing threats to the species and aligns the chimpanzee’s status with existing legal requirements as well as protections for other species. Currently, only wild chimpanzees are listed as endangered while captive chimpanzees are listed as threatened.
The proposed rule would correct this inconsistency after the Service determined that the ESA does not allow for captive-held animals to be assigned a separate legal status from their wild counterparts. In addition, the Service found threats to the chimpanzee from habitat loss, poaching, and disease have intensified and expanded since wild populations were listed as endangered in 1990. This finding published in the Federal Register on June 12, 2013, and is available online athttp://www.fws.gov/policy/library/2013/2013-14007.pdf. For information on how to submit comments or information on this proposed rule, go to page 35202 of the Federal Register document referenced above.