A bonobo's face


Bonobos are found only within the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa. Together with common chimpanzees, they are man's closest living relatives. Sex is an everyday affair in bonobo society, and is liberally used to create bonds between individuals, as well as for reproduction. That said, during periods of rest grooming is the activity of choice, and is thought to provide group cohesion and ease tension. Bonobos are born helpless, and females provide the majority of the parental care, since paternity is usually unclear.

Scientific name: Pan paniscus

Rank: Species

Common names:

Pygmy chimpanzee

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Map showing the distribution of the Bonobo taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Bonobo can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Bonobo distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Rainforest Rainforest
Rainforests are the world's powerhouses, the most vital habitats on the planet. Characterised by high rainfall, they only cover 6% of the Earth across the tropical regions, but they contain more than half of its plant and animal species.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1