Regional action plan for the conservation of western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) 2020–2030
In 2016, IUCN uplisted the western chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes verus, from “Endangered” to “Critically Endangered”, reflecting the subspecies’ increasingly dire conservation status. Of the four recognised chimpanzee subspecies, Pan troglodytes verus is under the greatest threat. The current plan presents the status and threats to P. t. verus, based on expert evaluation of the best scientific knowledge available to date. A considerable amount of new data has improved our knowledge of the distribution and status patterns of this subspecies since the first action plan was published in 2003, and an analysis of the threats to chimpanzee populations highlights the need to address these threats and their drivers. This action plan highlights how concerned stakeholders can harmonise their efforts, emphasising the critical role of regional coordination and inter- and multidisciplinary approaches in conserving the western chimpanzee. Finally, this plan also seeks to be dynamic, embedded in a monitoring and evaluation framework that will keep priorities and strategies relevant, updating objectives and information on threats as anthropogenic and ecological pressures evolve across West Africa.