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Wildlife Conservation Society helps Cameroon create new national park
Date:2/18/2009

Gorilla population surveys, conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society, have helped the government of Cameroon create a new national park which will protect more than 600 gorillas, along with other threatened species such as chimpanzees, forest elephants, buffaloes, and bongo.

Called Deng Deng National Park, the new protected area measures approximately 224 square miles (580 square kilometers) in sizeapproximately the size of the City of Chicago.

The creation of Deng Deng National Park is the result of years of conservation planning, including the first gorilla population surveys in the former forest reserve in 2002 by WCS. Results from the surveys prompted the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife to list Deng Deng as a priority area for protection, containing the most northern population of western lowland gorillas.

"Deng Deng National Park is a major step toward conserving all of Cameroon's gorilla populations and wildlife," said Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "We applaud the government of Cameroon for continuing to be a leader in conservation and for taking this important step to protect this species."

Additional support for the conservation of Deng Deng's biodiversity will come from the French Government, specifically through the French Agency for International Development (AFD). The agency has agreed to provide 735,000 Euros to fund the first phase (a three-year period) of the project, to be jointly implemented by WCS and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

WCS has had a long history in Cameroon, which began with WCS scientists being appointed technical advisors at 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 m
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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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