The major threat for bonobos are humans: bonobos are hunted and sold for their meat, the so called bushmeat. The second most important threat is the loss of their habitat: their forests are cleared for farming and logging. Although protected areas such as National Parks and Forest Reserves throughout the country are an important step towards the preservation of bonobos and the other animals which share their home, they are no guarantee for their survival: lack of law enforcement and the widespread ignorance of the consequences of extinct species for our own future impose us a race with time.
LuiKotale, our study site since 2002 is a good example: Here we observe professional poaching for bushmeat in regular intervals. We can observe different methods. There are poachers with automatic guns that kill large bodied animals such as elephants, wild boars and bonobos. There are poachers entering the forest to install large quantities of snares along animal pathways to hunt other animals such as duikers. Bonobos however use these paths, and regularly become victim of these snares being trapped and severely injured. Several individuals of our community show missing limbs due to these accidents.