Great Apes and logging
All species of great apes are (critically) endangered; their continued existence depends on the conservation of the tropical rainforests. In the Congo Basin, the area inhabited by the chimpanzee, bonobo and gorilla, only 10–15% of the forests are legally protected, either as national park or nature reserve. The figure for South East Asia, where the orang-utan dwells, is about 20%. Many times that area of forest (in some countries up to 90%) is leased as logging concession. Effectively protected national parks and nature reserves are preferable habitats for great apes. However, since many great apes dwell in logging concessions, their continued existence depend, therefore, to a great extend on how well they can survive in these logging concessions. This report deals with great apes and the threat posed to them by logging. Other major threats to great apes, such as disease (ebola), the conversion of forests to palm oil plantations and a lack of effective management in protected areas, lie outside the scope of this report and are not discussed in detail. This report, which is based on several scientific studies, information from nature conservationists and large logging companies, aims to offer insights into FSC's (Forest Stewardship Council) effectiveness as an instrument for the protection of chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orang-utans. FSC is the leading, most broadly supported global forest certification system for responsible logging.