Monkeys, before biting, save themselves - Instituto Ecológica

Monkeys, before biting, save themselves

A new Chinese dam project could kill up to 1,500 chimpanzees in Guinea. The construction would eventually transform a sanctuary, essential for the species (which is threatened), into a swamp.

The project is being developed by Sinohydro, the largest hydroelectric company on the planet. The plan consists of building the dam in the middle of Moyen-Bafing Park, which has recently been declared a protection area.

The company is not performing the unprecedented action. Last year a similar project of the company in Indonesia currently threatens the only known habitat of a newly discovered species of orangutan.

In addition to the mass death of primates, it is estimated that the project in Guinea will displace more than 8,000 people from their homes.

Currently, the species of Western chimpanzees is critically endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The number of individuals in the species has fallen by 80% in the last 20 years.

The threat was discovered by Roberta Kormos, a primate expert. After its discovery, almost 150,000 people signed petitions for the government of Guinea to ban the project. They also ask that the country adopt solar energy, something that World Bank has said would facilitate financing.

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