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 Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>