Future coexistence with great apes will require major changes to policy and practice

John C. Mitani, Ekwoge Abwe, Genevieve Campbell, Tamara Giles-Vernick, Tony Goldberg, Matthew R. McLennan, Signe Preuschoft, Jatna Supriatna, Andrew J. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The great apes—bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans—are critically threatened by human activities. We have destroyed their habitats, hunted them and transmitted fatal diseases to them. Yet we also conduct research on them, try to protect them and live alongside them. They are endangered, and time is running out. Here we outline what must be done to ensure that future generations continue to share this planet with great apes. We urge dialogue with those who live with great apes and interact with them often. We advocate conservation plans that acknowledge the realities of climate change, economic drivers and population growth. We encourage researchers to use technology to minimize risks to great apes. Our proposals will require substantial investment, and we identify ways to generate these funds. We conclude with a discussion of how field researchers might alter their work to protect our closest living relatives more effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-643
Number of pages12
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


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