Endangered Gorillas and other species in the DR Congo
Africa Community Impact Organization has many ongoing conservation projects. We are pledging our lives to do our part in saving the globe from the extinction of animal, plant and other species on a daily basis. As an example of one of our major projects, let us present the following update of our Congo project:
The Itombwe-DRC tropical forests are a truly magnificent biodiverse sanctuary that still retains a huge variety of species, including a number of endangered vertebrates that are endemic to the area. The western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is listed as severely endangered because it lives in South Kivu and Itombwe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where approximately 80% of the population lives. Despite the Congo’s low human population density and thus low level of anthropogenic influence, the country experienced a significant decline in its gorilla population, primarily as a result of commercial hunting, which was facilitated by the development of logging roads and related infrastructure that provided increased access to jungle rainforests.
In the Itombwe, human activities threatening forest animals and their habitats are steadily increasing, placing expanding pressure on gorillas, Grauer’s Gorillas, Chimpanzees and newly recognized African Forest Elephants. to find suitable locations to settle and protect their bands. In our 263 km2 study site, and within the scope of our active conservation forest activities, we actively protect endangered western lowland gorillas, forest elephants, mandrills, African dwarf crocodiles, and many other threatened plants and animals. Even though our project site has been subjected to intense illegal wild-meat hunting and illegal deforestation within the last 13 years, our persistent presence and work in the region has sharply reduced illegal hunting of endangered species. By working closely with forest hunters, ESI and others have created a cooperative “Hunters for Gorilla Conservation” program. With the support of ESI, the local cooperative has developed small scale eco-tourism activities, conducted awareness seminars and materials on gorilla conservation, monitored hunting activities, protected gorillas from hunting and any other human disturbances, and implemented alternative sustainable livelihood opportunities for the local populace.
Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is covered with dense tropical rainforest home to Critically Endangered species like Grauer’s Gorillas, Chimpanzees and newly recognized African Forest Elephants.
published by Jesse at Itombwe Massif.