Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Report Shows Africa's Gorillas Face Bleak Future

gorillaIllegal logging, mining and poaching for bushmeat are pushing gorillas and other great apes in Africa's Congo basin ever closer to extinction, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Earlier estimates that the natural habitat of gorillas could shrink by 90 percent within two decades now seem overly optimistic, said the report, compiled jointly by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and international police organisation Interpol.

"With the current accelerated rate of poaching for bushmeat and habitat loss, the gorilla of the Greater Congo Basin may now disappear from most of their present range within 10 to 15 years," said UNEP's Christian Nellemann.

Outbreaks of Ebola fever have dimmed survival prospects even further, said the report, launched at a meeting of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in the Qatari capital Doha.

Full story here.

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