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Goodall: Apes Won’t Adapt to Rapid Climate Change


Jane Goodall chimpanzeesIn a recent interview the chimpanzee expert Dame Jane Goodall has voiced concern about the fate of apes due to climate change.

“It is getting drier and hotter and that is going to affect food and water supplies.” Goodall said in an interview with Guardian. “Some won’t be able to migrate anywhere – there won’t be anywhere to go. I think [climate change] is happening too quickly for evolutionary-type adaptations. Baboons and macaques are opportunists and they will do much better, but the apes really have very prescribed lives and it is much harder for them to adapt.”

Goodall also cautioned against outright banning of forestry in low socioeconomic areas. “If you are a poor community and you are relying on the forest to cut down trees to sell the timber or to clear for agriculture to feed your family, there has to be an alternative – you can’t just tell people they can’t use [the forest] anymore.” In order to halt forestry in these areas the community needs to benefit as well.

Goodall has also experienced rapid climate change first hand. While visiting Greenland she witnessed ice “thundering and crashing” down an ice cliff, that within living memory had never melted. She then traveled to Panama and spoke to traditional elders there who can no longer live on offshore islands due to severe high tides.

However Goodall has some hope for the future especially after participating in this years climate march in New York; “The organizers expected about 100,000 people and in fact it was almost 400,000” Goodall said. “This is a huge new power that particularly the youth is on to.”

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  1. I would say humans are the most fortunate and we can influence our faith, but the animals have to adapt or they will have no other way. At least, we can try and do something…..


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