Republic of Congo Park to Protect Gorillas

Western lowland gorilla. Credit: Thomas Breuer/Wildlife Conservation Society/Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary AnthropologyWestern lowland gorilla. Credit: Thomas Breuer/Wildlife Conservation Society/Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

(UPI) — The Republic of Congo has declared a new national park to protect a population of 125,000 western lowland gorillas, a U.S. conservation group says.  The Wildlife Conservation Society, based in New York, reported the 1,765-square-mile Ntokou-Pikounda National Park will safeguard the western lowland gorillas as well as around 850 elephants and 950 chimpanzees.

“The Republic of Congo has shown the world its commitment to protect the largest population of gorillas on the planet,” WCS President Cristian Samper said. “We commend the Congolese government for its leadership and foresight to set aside lands so that wildlife can flourish.”

After the discovery by WCS researchers in 2008 of more than 125,000 western lowland gorillas in northern Republic of Congo, the government pledged to protect the Ntokou-Pikounda landscape with an eventual national park.  Western lowland gorillas are one of four recognized gorilla sub-species, along with mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas and Cross River gorillas, and all are considered endangered, a WCS release said Thursday.

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2 thoughts on “Republic of Congo Park to Protect Gorillas”

  1. An excellent move indeed and very pleased to hear that. The world needs establishment of more protected areas and wildlands to help safeguard the large vertebrates facing global extinction crisis. Considering the size of the designated protected area and the current population estimation, it appears roughly 70 gorillas per sq mile, which is i think a good healthy density to maintain to keep the gorilla population away from the man made threats that lead to ‘extinction crisis’. Well done! A big congratulation to all the folks and organizations involved to make it happen. Reliving the memory of Diane Fossey too!

    1. Thank you for chiming in, gondwana75, and for liking this post. GBN agrees that it is an excellent move for any country or government to make efforts to protect the habitats and wildlands for near-extinct species. We hope more of them do so!

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