Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Population of rare gorillas may be increasing in war-torn Congo

27.01.2005


Heroic efforts by park guards have helped safeguard isolated population



An isolated population of rare Grauer’s gorillas, living among rebel armies and bands of poachers, has managed to survive in one of the most dangerous regions in Africa, and may even be increasing in numbers, according to a recent census by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). WCS conservationists say that a band of park guards who have heroically defended the gorillas and their rainforest home in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, have played a key role in safeguarding these endangered primates.
The census, led by WCS project director Innocent Liengola, counted 168 gorillas living in the mountain highlands of Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Most encouragingly, a number of the groups had infants. A census under difficult conditions in 2000 estimated 120 to 130 animals in the same area. Preliminary surveys from other regions in the park and outlying areas have also shown these rare large primates to continue to persist, despite some recent reports that the animals are nearing extinction.

"The fact that this Grauer’s gorilla population may actually be increasing is a tribute to the park guards who have stood their ground against rebel armies and poachers. They are true conservation heroes," said WCS Conservationist Dr. Jeffferson Hall, who conducted the first-ever Grauer’s gorilla census in 1996. "I’m absolutely convinced that if the guards did not remain in Kahuzi Biega, there would be no animals left."



Hall led a WCS survey team in Kahuzi-Biega in 1996 that found a population of 245-270 Grauer’s gorillas living in the same area of the park. Following his survey, the population was hit hard by the onset of Congo’s long civil war, which swept through much of the country.

"When we counted up the numbers of gorillas we knew had been killed during the war, we thought we might find fewer than one hundred left," Liengola said about the current census. "The survey results show us that even sensitive species like gorillas can make a comeback if they are protected and their habitat remains intact. The challenge is to hold this trend."

Ongoing insecurity in the region has made Kahuzi-Biega extremely dangerous for conservation work. As recently as last May, field teams attempting to count gorillas had to flee the area due to rebel fighting. Five years ago a survey team of ten was killed by rebel fighters during attempts to demarcate the park border. For the park guards, the ability to negotiate with rebels and potential poachers have kept the gorillas largely safe. The Grauer’s gorilla (also known as the eastern lowland gorilla) is the least-studied of the four gorilla sub-species. More than three-quarters of the world’s population is believed to be living in and around Kahuzi Biega National Park, though a total population estimate remains unknown. WCS’s program in Kahuzi-Biega is supported by USAID, UNESCO, GTZ, Born Free Foundation, Hallewell Foundation, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases
21.08.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

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: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>