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Urge FWS to Protect Captive Chimpanzees Under the ESA: sample comment

January 26, 2012



Please comment by clicking HERE using sample comments below or compose your own message. No personal information is necessary, only the comment field needs to be completed.


The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is supposed to protect imperiled animals on the brink of extinction, but current regulations under the ESA leave captive chimpanzees with virtually no protection, despite the fact that wild chimpanzees receive the benefits of endangered status. This “split listing,” in which wild chimps are listed as “endangered” but captive chimps are listed as merely “threatened,” facilitates the exploitation of captive chimpanzees in entertainment, biomedical research, and the pet trade.

Since the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) instituted the split listing of chimpanzees in 1990, the population of the species as a whole has continued to deteriorate at an alarming pace. Not only has the split listing failed to conserve wild chimpanzees, it has also caused immense suffering in captive chimpanzees, who are forced to perform demeaning tricks in commercials and movies, used in invasive animal experiments, and kept as pets in wholly unnatural environments.

But there’s good news: the Fish and Wildlife Service recently launched a status review to reexamine the status of captive chimpanzees and possibly reclassify them as “endangered.” FWS has invited the public to comment on this important issue, and is accepting comments through their website or by mail until January 30, 2012.

Join ALDF in urging the FWS to extend endangered status to captive chimpanzees, along with all of the meaningful protections such a listing entails.

Speak out for chimpanzees and submit your comment on the FWS website today!

FWS is accepting comments only through their website or by mail. Please complete the form found at the link above to submit your comments.

Please be aware that your comments are public record. All comments submitted in response to this proposed rule (including any personal information that is provided) will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. FNS will make the comments publicly available on the Internet via


FWS comment form can be found HERE

If you prefer to mail your comments to FWS, please address your letter to:

Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R9-ES-2010-0086
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM
Arlington, VA 22203


I write in regard to the pending status review of chimpanzees, and specifically to encourage FWS to list the entire pan troglodyte species as endangered. The proposed listing is a long overdue step toward improving the life of captive chimpanzees in the United States. In addition, it will help to preserve the population and habitat of the pan troglodyte species around the world by calling attention to the plight of the species, and eradicating the destructive double standard that suggests that the United States is more concerned with the treatment of chimpanzees on foreign soil than within its own territory.

As the petition amply demonstrates, the pan troglodyte species meets each of the five factors to be considered by FWS in making its listing determination under the Endangered Species Act:

  1. The natural habitat of the species is threatened with destruction, modification and curtailment by deforesting activities;
  2. Chimpanzees in their native habitat and in captivity in the United States are grossly exploited for food, for entertainment, as personal property, and in biomedical and other research;
  3. The species has been plagued by disease, both in the wild, and in captivity, where healthy chimpanzees have been infected with human diseases for research purposes.  In addition, its members are frequently killed when their natural behavior brings them into contact with humans;
  4. In the thirty-five years since FWS instituted the split listing of chimpanzees, the condition of the species as a whole has continued to deteriorate at an alarming pace; and
  5. By permitting the use of chimpanzees in entertainment and biomedical research, and allowing them to be kept as pets, the split listing harms captive animals in the United States by denying their wild instincts, subjecting them to torture by their human captors, and restricting genetic diversity.  That permissive approach also harms chimpanzees in the wild, by trivializing the species and minimizing the seriousness of the threat to its survival.

For each of these reasons, I strongly urge FWS to find in favor of listing the entire pan troglodyte species – captive and wild members – as endangered.

See More: Animal Legal Defense Fund

what more does one have to say
as chimpanzees share 98% of our DNA
so why so sorely mistreat our brothers
this way

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

One Comment leave one →
  1. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    January 27, 2012 3:48 am

    what more does one have to say
    as chimpanzees share 98% of our DNA
    so why so sorely mistreat our brothers
    this way


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