By creating a map of chimpanzee genetic diversity, researchers hope to be able to reintroduce captured chimps to their region of origin, Mongabay reports.
"They're confiscated in maybe Moscow, or San Francisco, or Hong Kong — it can be anywhere — and we don't know where they came from," Peter Frandsen from Copenhagen Zoo tells it. Mongabay adds there are four chimpanzee subspecies — a possible fifth subspecies has been proposed — that differ genetically and have their own particular home range
Frandsen notes, though, that re-introducing chimps to the wild can be difficult, particularly for older chimps. Still, it would also give researchers a better picture of the illegal wildlife trade.
At the same time, Mongabay notes that a map of chimpanzee genetic diversity could also inform conservation efforts, particularly captive breeding programs. This, it adds, could help preserve the different chimpanzee subspecies and enable captive chimps to be released to help bolster wild chimp populations.