The Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) is the most endangered of all gorillas, with only an estimated 300 individuals remaining in the wild, the World Wildlife Fund reports.
The Cross River gorilla is found only in a small area spanning the border between Nigeria and Cameroon.
According to the WWF, It is here that these gorillas are facing a number of threats that are driving them towards extinction.
The primary threat to the Cross River gorilla is habitat loss. The forests where these gorillas live are being cleared for agriculture and logging, leaving little room for these gorillas to survive.
Additionally, poaching is a significant threat, as gorillas are hunted for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in the region.
The gorillas are also killed for their body parts, which are believed to have medicinal properties, despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence to support these claims, Gorilla Facts reports.
Poachers often operate in small groups and use traps, snares, guns and poisons to capture or kill gorillas. According to News24, this illegal hunting is further exacerbating the decline of the Cross River gorilla population, which is already threatened by habitat loss and diseases such as Ebola.
If no action is taken to protect the Cross River gorilla, it is possible that this subspecies could be extinct within the next few decades, the WWF reports. The rate of habitat loss and poaching is increasing, and if left unchecked, it is likely that the population of Cross River gorillas will continue to decline.
It is imperative that action is taken to protect the Cross River gorilla and its habitat. This can be done through a number of measures such as increasing law enforcement to combat poaching, working with local communities to reduce the demand for gorilla meat, and setting aside protected areas for gorillas to live.
Conservation groups and government agencies are working tirelessly to protect this subspecies and its habitat. Anti-poaching patrols are being increased to combat illegal hunting, while community-based conservation programs are helping to reduce the demand for gorilla meat. Additionally, protected areas are being established to give the gorillas a safe haven to live.
But protecting the Cross River gorilla is not just the responsibility of conservation groups and government agencies, it’s something we all need to take part in. Here are a few things you can do to help save the Cross River gorilla from extinction:
5. Educate yourself about the Cross River gorilla
Educate yourself about this species and the threats that are driving it toward extinction.
4. Avoid products that are linked to habitat destruction
Avoid products that are linked to habitat destruction, such as palm oil and wood products from illegal logging.
3. Support sustainable and responsible tourism
Support sustainable and responsible tourism that does not harm gorillas or their habitats.
2. Spread awareness
Spread awareness about the plight of the Cross River gorilla by sharing information about this subspecies with your friends and family.
1. Support conservation groups
Support conservation groups working to protect the Cross River gorilla and its habitat like Greater Good Charities and Project Peril. With the help of your donations, Project Peril partners with the best non-profits devoted to combating habitat loss, stopping the illegal wildlife trade, and preventing human-animal conflict. Project Peril identifies key species on the brink of extinction and helps fund groups doing the best work to save these species around the world.
The Cross River gorilla is on the brink of extinction, but with our help, we can ensure that this subspecies continues to thrive for generations to come.
By taking action now, we can help protect the Cross River gorilla and its habitat, giving this subspecies a chance to survive and thrive.
This article by Matthew Russell was first published by The Animal Rescue Site. Lead Image: PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK / JULIELANGFORD – A CROSS RIVER GORILLA RESTING, EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING THE SPECIES’ RIGHT TO A PEACEFUL EXISTENCE.
What you can do
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Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.
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