Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New National Park Protects World's Rarest Gorilla

01.12.2008
The Wildlife Conservation Society, the Government of Cameroon, and other partners have collaborated to create a new national park to help protect the world’s most endangered great ape: the Cross River gorilla.

The park now forms part of an important trans-boundary protected area with Nigeria’s Cross River National Park, safeguarding an estimated 115 gorillas—a third of the Cross River gorilla population—along with other rare species. Trans-boundary protected areas allow species to roam freely between countries.

The creation of Takamanda National Park represents many years of work led by WCS and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in Cameroon, including: baseline surveys of gorillas and other large mammals; meetings and agreements with local communities; the formulation of recommendations for upgrading the reserve to park status; and the establishment of trans-boundary activities with the Okwangwo Division of Cross River National Park in Nigeria.

Primary support for the creation of Takamanda National Park comes from a funding partnership between the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and the German Development Bank (Kreditanstalt fûr Wiederaufbau Bankengruppe) as part of a 5-year funding program to protect key conservation areas in collaboration with local communities in southwest Cameroon. The initiative was also supported by the World Wildlife Fund, the German Development Service (DED) and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

“The Government of Cameroon is to be commended for taking this step in saving the Cross River gorilla for future generations,” said Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, President and CEO of WCS. “By forming this national park, Cameroon sends a powerful message about the importance of conservation.”

“This represents a huge step in ensuring a future for the world’s rarest great ape,” said Dr. James Deutsch, Director of WCS-Africa. “Making this former forest reserve a national park will effectively protect these gorillas and will continue the conservation partnership between Cameroon and Nigeria.”

In addition to protecting Cross River gorillas, the 676-square-kilometer (261-square-mile) Takamanda National Park will safeguard populations of forest elephants, chimpanzees, and drills—another rare primate and a close relative of the better-known mandrill.

The Cross River gorilla is the rarest of the four gorilla subspecies. Other subspecies include: western lowland gorillas, eastern lowland or “Grauer’s” gorillas, restricted to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and mountain gorillas, made famous by Dian Fossey and George Schaller. Earlier this year, WCS scientists discovered more than 125,000 western lowland gorillas in the northern Republic of Congo. WCS is the only conservation group working to safeguard the four subspecies, all of which are classified as “critically endangered” or “endangered” by the IUCN Red List.

Habitat destruction and hunting represent the biggest threats to Cross River gorillas. Gorillas are occasionally targeted by hunters of bushmeat 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.

Cameroon is one of seven African nations supported by the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) and the Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE). The U.S. government acting through the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested more than $60 million in biodiversity conservation in the Congo Basin. Together, this support has augmented funds for great apes conservation in the region through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administered Great Apes Conservation Fund. Since 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has invested more than $13 million for the conservation of gorillas, chimpanzees, and other great apes and has leveraged more than $17 million in private donations and matching funds. The Great Apes Conservation Fund Act, which authorizes this fund, expires in 2010. WCS will continue to educate the U.S. Congress about the need for increased support for great ape conservation in the upcoming months.

WCS has had a long history in Cameroon which began with WCS scientists being appointed technical advisors at the Korup National Park in 1988. In partnership with the Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and CAMRAIL (the Cameroon Railways), WCS continues to play a critical role in enforcing regulations that ban transportation of bushmeat or any other wildlife products from remote locations to urban markets by local trains. This effort in part has helped Cameroon uphold its obligations as a member nation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

WCS’s conservation work in Central Africa was funded in part from admission fees to the Bronx Zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit. Since the exhibit’s opening in 1999, it has raised more than $8.5 million for conservation in this region.

Stephen Sautner | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA keeps watch over space explosions

16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How the gut ‘talks’ to brown fat

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>