Navigation Links
Poaching, logging, and outbreaks of Ebola threaten central African gorillas and chimpanzees

Experts call for $30 million action plan to save mankind's closest relatives

A combination of natural and man-made threats is killing gorillas and chimpanzees in Central Africa, and experts say $30 million is needed for special programs to save some of mankind's closest relatives from disappearing.

An action plan drafted by more than 70 primatologists and other experts who met in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, in May designates 12 areas for emergency programs intended to increase security against illegal hunting, protect great apes and tropical forests from logging, and slow the spread of the Ebola virus in the region.

Called the Regional Action Plan for Conservation of Chimpanzees and Gorillas in Western Equatorial Africa, the document seeks a multilateral response to the threats to populations of the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and the central African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) that share the same habitat in six countries.

The plan represents an urgent appeal to the international community for immediate action, before the damage is irreversible.

While the experts were unable to establish precise population figures for the gorillas and chimpanzees, they determined that recent Ebola outbreaks, bushmeat hunting and logging have almost wiped out some populations. The action plan noted that apes reproduce slowly, with limited capacity to recover from decimated populations.

"This devastating mix of threats leaves us on the brink of losing some of our closest living relatives," said Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International and chairman of the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN-The World Conservation Union's Species Survival Commission. ''Protecting gorillas and chimps is not just important in its own right. These animals are also flagship species, important symbols for vast areas of forest that are among the richest on Earth. Protecting them protects many other spec ies as well."

The continuing spread of the Ebola virus through the region is a particular threat, with devastating effects on ape populations. Ebola spreads through contact with blood and other body fluids, putting bushmeat hunters and others who might handle carcasses of infected animals at risk.

"If we find ways to protect apes from the Ebola virus, we also will protect humans," the action plan concludes.

The action plan designated 12 sites in five countries - Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea - that require immediate help. Seven "exceptional sites" have ape populations exceeding 2,000 in a large area (8,232 to 41,900 square kilometres), while five "important sites" have ape populations of 500 to 2000 individuals in a site covering 1,219 to 9,011 square kilometres. Two other areas labelled "priority survey sites" have known ape populations that require additional study to assess the numbers and determine boundaries to promote ape conservation.

"New types of collaborations are going to be needed, as the fate of apes in Central Africa relies not only on addressing the typical issues of poaching and habitat destruction, but also the problems of the rapid spread of disease," said Christophe Boesch of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, an author of the action plan.

According to the action plan, a series of programs needed to halt declines in ape populations will cost just under $30 million. The measures include anti-poaching activities, improved monitoring and response to Ebola outbreaks, increased training, and tourism development.

"As dire as the threats are to the survival of great apes, it's important for the world to know that this is not a lost cause," said Emma Stokes of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Congo Program, another author of the action plan. "It will take a tremendous amount of work and dedication from a variety of conservation groups, government agencies and do nors, but we still have a chance to save these animals."

The Brazzaville meeting was organized by the Centre International de Recherches M�dicales de Franceville (CIRMF), Conservation International (CI), the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Additional funding came from the Great Ape Conservation Fund of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP), the Cleveland Park Zoo, the Primate Action Fund, and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Source:Conservation International

Related biology news :

1. New tools used to control foodborne hepatitis A outbreaks related to green onions
2. Pattern of human Ebola outbreaks linked to wildlife and climate
3. Ebola outbreaks killing thousands of gorillas and chimpanzees
4. Study Links Ebola Outbreaks To Animal Carcasses
5. Scientists discover how Ebola virus infects cells
6. Ebola virus: from wildlife to dogs
7. Ebola DNA vaccine produces immune responses in all fully vaccinated volunteers in Phase 1 trial
8. Gene-specific Ebola therapies protect non-human primates from lethal disease
9. Gorilla susceptibility to Ebola virus: the cost of sociality
10. Researchers discover key mechanism by which lethal viruses Ebola and Marburg cause disease
11. Ebola-outbreak kills 5000 gorillas
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce its ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will ... VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, ... and usability. ... partnership. "This marketing and technology partnership ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pleasant Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... sciences consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free ... webinar is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: