Scientific name

Pan paniscus


Males: 36 to 61 kilograms (80 to 135 pounds)<br/>Females: 27 to 38 kilograms (60 to 84 pounds)


Up to 1.2 meters tall (4 feet)

Life span

60 years in captivity. 20 to 50 years in the wild


Lowland rainforest, swamp forests




About 8 months



Estimated only
Bonobos remain
Bonobos share
genetic code with humans
There are only
Bonobo strongholds


The bonobos have experienced a significant population reduction in the past 12 to 20 years.

Unfortunately, only a small portion of the their habitat is protected. Due to war in the DRC, illegal activities in the national parks have continued unchecked. Locals depend on the wildlife for protein — even if it’s meat from endangered species. These great apes are also targeted by poachers because of their large size. The civil strife has also caused an increase of destruction and degradation to the bonobo habitat. Logging and subsistence agriculture are also a threat. Industrial extraction could also become a big risk to the species future as 99.2 percent of their range and habitat has been found to be suitable for palm oil.

Their population is shrinking and reproduction cannot happen fast enough.

Females become sexually mature after they’re 12 years old and may give birth soon after. However, females give birth to a single infant every five to six years, and they tend to nurse and carry their babies for five years. As a result, a population growth can’t happen fast enough and bonobo populations really can’t withstand high levels of poaching, habitat loss, and human encroachment.


Our solution to the wildlife conservation crisis is hands-on, up close, and personal:

Create a conservation plan.

The bonobos live in the heart of the Congo, and the African Wildlife Foundation has set up a conservation plan to help stop the destruction of these gentle animals and their habitat. We created The Lomako Conservation Science Center in the heart of their habitat. This center supports wildlife surveys, training of Congolese researchers and developing wildlife conservation plans.

Community Involvement
Get communities involved.

AWF has surveyed key areas of their habitat and polled local communities on how their needs could fit within AWF's conservation goals.

Develop new strategies.

By regularly monitoring the endangered species numbers and keeping track of where they are, conservationists can develop strategies to find economic alternatives for communities who hunt them for protein.



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