Increased contact with humans is causing chimpanzees across a wide range of their African habitats to lose their behavioral and cultural diversity.
Earlier studies found individual groups have unique characteristics, with behavior learned through interaction with others.
But researchers from the Max Planck Institute say that the chimps’ habitats are being lost to agriculture, plantations and human settlements. The nine-year study found that chimpanzee behavioral diversity was reduced by 88 percent when and where human impact was highest.
The illegal trade in African wildlife and poaching for human consumption of bushmeat are also threats to chimp diversity.