First Interactive Website on World's Apes Goes Live

April 27, 2012
New York, April 27, 2012 — The most in-depth and comprehensive mapping of ape populations around the world launches today as part of efforts by the conservation community to step up protection of some of the world’s most critically endangered species.

The online portal, — also known by its full name, Ape Populations Environments Surveys (APES) — presents the first-ever globally-consistent displays of timely and sophisticated data on the size, vulnerability and habitat of ape communities, opening the way for comparison of ape habitats across land ranges, borders and regions.

“Our aim is for APES to boost protection of apes globally,” said Annette Lanjouw, Interim Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation, the main funder of the portal.

“The portal gives industry, policymakers and others a one-stop shop for reliable and timely information, supporting their actions and decisions to ensure that these at-risk species are able to survive and thrive.”

The APES portal’s central feature is a dashboard that gives users control over the number and scale of up to 20 graphics layers showing, for example, land use or relief, local human population and ecology, and existing levels of ape protection.

Users can set criteria and generate maps, graphs and tables displaying a range of scenarios, including, for example, the most threatened ape sites around the world, protection levels at individual ape sites, and existing ecosystem threats.

The data — comprising 169 regional and 200 contextual datasets from more than 1,000 verified sources — were collected through assessments carried out in the majority of Africa’s and Asia’s ape habitats.

The portal — designed to function smoothly regardless of internet connectivity level – also provides other resources, including a listing of more than 680 publications and a wiki on individual ape species.

Conceived in 2006, the portal is a joint project of The Max Planck Institute (, specialists at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN,, and United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (http:///

Arcus Foundation and the World We Want Foundation ( provided funding for research, data collection and coordination, and production of the offline and online systems that support the portal.

All 22 ape species — including bonobos, chimpanzees, gibbons, gorillas and orangutans — are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN. A total of 21 are classified as endangered or critically endangered.