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New national park protects world's rarest gorilla
Date:11/26/2008

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 gorillasa third of the Cross River gorilla populationalong 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 fűr 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 p
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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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