The database focuses specifically on the documentation of communicative interactions to tackle the complexity of underlying cognitive mechanisms, developmental and evolutionary trajectories. Bonobos and chimpanzees are humans’ two closest living relatives and are listed on the IUCN Red List as endangered species. An in-depth understanding of the communicative and cognitive abilities of our closest phylogenetic relatives is crucial, by both homology and analogy, to help reconstructing the behavior of the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo and perhaps some aspect of early hominin behavior. Bonobos live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo only, while chimpanzees can currently be found in rainforests and savannahs of West and Central Africa. Estimates range currently from 29,500 to 50,000 remaining wild living bonobos and 170,000 to 300,000 remaining wild living chimpanzees. Habitat destruction, habitat loss, disease, human population growth and movement, and most importantly commercial poaching are their most prominent threats.
Board members of the 1000Pan database are experts on bonobo and chimpanzee behaviour in wild living communities whose work adds to our understanding of the evolutionary roots of and the factors driving the evolution of language and cognition.