Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eastern lowland gorilla population plummets 70 percent since 1994

30.03.2004


Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Credits: Conservation International


New multi-million dollar investment gives 5,000 remaining gorillas new lease on life

The world population of the Endangered eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), found almost exclusively in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has plummeted by more than 70 percent in the past decade. Scientists estimate that fewer than 5,000 individuals remain, down sharply from 17,000 in 1994.

But a new multi-million dollar investment to save the gorilla is expected to help prevent the species’ slide into extinction. Conservation International (CI), as well as its Global Conservation Fund (GCF), is providing a three-year, multi-million dollar grant to The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) to strengthen its program in the region, helping the gorillas and other animals and plants found in their habitat.



"The staggering and almost immediate disappearance of the eastern lowland gorilla underscores the alarming decline of an entire ecosystem," said Juan Carlos Bonilla, senior director for Central Africa at Conservation International. "But this joint effort – which includes everyone from tribal chiefs to non-governmental organizations and national governments – represents an unprecedented commitment to preserve the region."

The investment will increase the protection of more than 3 million hectares in the region, which contains roughly 97 percent of the distribution and population of the eastern lowland gorilla. The region, known as the Maiko Tayna Kahuzi-Biega Landscape, contains a high degree of biological richness and species endemism. Although a protected area since 1938, Maiko National Park has been widely recognized as an ineffective "paper park" with no real protection.

Other species that call the area home, such as the chimpanzee, forest elephant, Nile crocodile, Congo peacock, Congo bay owl, okapi, and leopard, are also experiencing severe declines. The region is under severe threat from years of war, over-hunting, mining, and pressures from increasing human populations.

"We are now beginning to realize that the eastern lowland gorillas are not only an important charismatic species that can enhance conservation awareness for all the floral and faunal species in its habitat," said Patrick Mehlman, Ph.D., DFGFI’s director of Africa programs. "These gorillas also appear to be a critical biological indicator species, with their presence indicating healthy forest that contains surviving populations of other endangered fauna, like the forest elephant."

Conservation International is a key partner in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), which funds the preservation of 11 biologically-rich landscapes in six Congo Basin nations, including the DRC. CBFP funding is distributed through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE). With funding from a CARPE grant, CI partnered with DFGFI to implement field conservation in the landscape. DFGFI will receive $585,000 from that funding, as well as $393,000 from CI’s Global Conservation Fund (GCF). Similar levels of funding are expected for the next two years.

Conservation International’s DRC office is designing a biodiversity conservation corridor for the entire region, where other CARPE partners World Wide Fund for Nature and Wildlife Conservation Society will also conduct conservation efforts.

The combined efforts of DFGFI and CI, with their Congolese partners ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Protection de la Nature) and community groups will provide protection and scientific monitoring for fauna and flora, conservation education for local people, and capacity building for Congolese Institutions, so that sustainable and long-term conservation efforts can be put in place to preserve the rich biodiversity and numerous endangered species found in these Afromontane and Congo Basin forests.

Brad Phillips | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.conservation.org.
http://www.gorillafund.org.

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>