Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International Reports Gorillas in Eastern Congo More Numerous Than Expected

New scientific surveys by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have revealed some encouraging news about the status of the "eastern lowland" gorilla, known more properly as Grauer's gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri).

Based on its latest research with its Congolese partners -- the DRC wildlife authority (ICCN, Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature) and a federation of community-based reserves (UGADEC, Union for the Conservation of Gorillas and Development in Eastern DRC) -- the Fossey Fund now estimates that Grauer's gorilla, which exists only in eastern DRC, ranges from a population of 5,500 to some 28,000 individuals, occupying an area of about 21,000 square kilometers. While the Fund's recent analyses indicate that at least 24 percent of this gorilla's range was lost between 1959 and 2005, Grauer's gorilla has continued to survive throughout long periods of civil war.

This recent research also indicates that earlier surveys appear to have missed or underestimated important priority areas for this gorilla's overall
distribution. This demonstrates clear and present opportunities for protecting Grauer's gorilla, through the Fossey Fund's continued support for national parks and community-managed nature reserves in this region.

Story here.

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