Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World’s Rarest Gorilla Ready for Its Close-up

18.12.2009
The world’s rarest—and most camera shy—great ape has finally been captured on professional video on a forested mountain in Cameroon, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and Germany’s NDR Naturfilm.

With the assistance of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Cameroon Program, a film crew from the Hamburg-based NDR Naturfilm managed to video the elusive Cross River gorilla earlier this year in a stand of montane trees after weeks of effort in the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary. The protected area was created in 2008, with the guidance of WCS, specifically to protect the world’s rarest great ape.

“These gorillas are extremely wary of humans and are very difficult to photograph or film,” said Dr. Roger Fotso, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Cameroon Program. “Eventually, we identified and staked out some of the gorillas favorite fig trees, which is where we finally achieved our goal.”

“It’s unbelievable that one great ape subspecies has never been filmed for TV so far,” said Jörn Röver, Head of NDR Naturfilm. “We hope that our international production helps to raise awareness for these magnificent creatures and the work of the WCS.”

The only previous footage available of the rare apes was taken from a long distance with a shaky, hand-held camera in 2005 by a field researcher.

Due to the steep mountain terrain, tracking gorillas in Kagwene is time-consuming and sometimes treacherous. Through the years, WCS researchers have developed an effective non-invasive monitoring system aimed at keeping track of the gorillas without disturbing them or getting them used to human presence. After weeks with WCS’s assistance, the crew finally filmed several minutes of two gorillas feeding on figs some 30-40 feet above the forest floor.

“These extraordinary images are vital for the fight to save the world’s least known and rarest ape as well as the mountain rainforest on which they depend,” said Dr. James Deutsch, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa Program. “Over the past twenty years, local communities, the governments of Cameroon and Nigeria, funders, and committed conservationists have laid the foundation for a great conservation success story. We hope these pictures will introduce to the world the lead players in this story, the Cross River gorillas themselves.”

Funders for efforts to conserve Cross River gorillas include: the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (the German Development Bank), the Arcus Foundation, WWF, the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, the Taronga Foundation, the Kolmarden Fundraising Foundation, and the North Carolina Zoo.

Classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN’s Red List, the Cross River gorilla is the rarest of the four subspecies of gorilla, numbering fewer than 300 individuals across its entire range in Cameroon and Nigeria. It is one of two subspecies of western gorilla, the other being the western lowland gorilla. The eastern gorilla includes two subspecies: the eastern lowland gorilla, and the famous mountain gorillas of the Virunga Mountains and southern Uganda (the latter of which numbers approximately 700 individuals).

The Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary is a small reserve, only 19.5 square kilometers in size. Nevertheless, it contains a genetically important segment of the entire Cross River gorilla population; it is estimated that the sanctuary currently contains approximately 16 individual animals.

While many populations of gorillas are threatened by poachers, the gorillas of Kagwene have been protected by the local belief that the apes are people and therefore cannot be hunted or consumed.

Elsewhere, hunting continues to be one of the biggest threats to Cross River gorillas in addition to habitat destruction. Gorillas are occasionally targeted by bushmeat hunters in the region, and genetic analysis of the population reveals a reduction in numbers over the last 200 years that is most likely due to hunting. The fragmentation of their forest habitat is caused by farming, road-building, and the burning of forests by pastoralists to encourage new grass for their herds.

John Delaney | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht When corals eat plastics
24.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>