Scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC UPF) in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute, have proved that with the DNA of chimpanzees confiscated from illegal trade it is possible to discover the location of their origin on the African continent.
In order to reach this point, they have been analyzing thousands of data obtained during years from samples of wild specimens, to put on the map of Africa the genetic characteristics of each population of chimpanzees. Crossing this data with those of the confiscated animals, we now know, with increasing accuracy, the place from which they or their parents were captured. This information provides the evidence required to engage more and better these countries of origin, who currently ignore the problem of the illegal trade in primates and to better direct international efforts to protect these species.
This is a very necessary and ambitious project in the fight for chimpanzee conservation and we are proud to be part of it. The care givers took saliva and hair samples from each of our chimps and soon we will explain all the interesting results that are coming out.