Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Plan Developed To Save Ape Population In Africa

A $30 million plan is being implemented by conservationists hoping to save the great apes of Africa under threat of extinction by man and disease.

According to conservationists, the western lowland gorilla and the central African chimpanzee are close to extinction due to the threats of poaching for the "bushmeat" trade, rampant logging, and the Ebola virus.

Experts are unable to formulate precise estimates for remaining ape numbers, but the consensus among conservationists is that they decline quickly.

The $30 million plan, drawn up by more than 70 experts and government officials, designates 12 sites in five countries: Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea.

Seven "exceptional sites" have ape populations exceeding 2,000 in a large area while five "important sites" have populations of 500 to 2000 in areas covering 1,219 to 9,011 square kilometers.

The plan will be executed over five years and target these sites for emergency programs intended to increase security against illegal hunting and logging and slow the spread of the Ebola virus.

Story here.

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