Endangered gorillas may dissappear from the Greater Congo Basin in just 15 years unless something is done urgently to strengthen the enforcement of environmental law and counter poaching. This is according to a UNEP report released on June 4 just before the June 5 World Environment Day in Kigali, Rwanda.

Amid these concerns, the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUC, which is set to change its mandate from peacekeeping to stabilization, is planning to airlift 6 gorilla orphans to a sanctuary in Kasughu, in the North Kivu province of the DRC. This precious cargo will arrive sometime in July to join another 4 eastern lowland gorillas that were airlifted by MONUC on 27 May 2010.

This operation, which is part of a wider effort to combat the illegal cross-border trade in baby gorillas, which has intensified in recent years with the proliferation of armed groups in the region, could be MONUC’s first operation in its new stabilization mandate.

Even so, the future of the gorilla remains bleak. The only gorilla species that has recorded an increase in population is the Mountain Gorilla which accoding to recent estimates numbers 700 individuals. The growth of this population which resides exclusively atop the Virunga Volcanoes straddling Uganda, DRC and Rwanda, and the adjacent Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is attributed to intensive cross-border cooperation of the three countries for their conservation.

Gorillas are making their last stand at the edge of the abyss of extinction. Illegal logging, mining, charcoal production and increased demand for bushmeat, of which an increasing proportion is ape meat, are the robbers driving these majestic primates to this abyss.

In 15 years we may not have any gorillas in the Congo Basin. All efforts to conserve these charismatic great apes should keep that in mind. Everyone should get involved. After all, our grandchildren should have the option to visit these intriguing creatures long after we are gone.

A UNEP press release about this operation can be found here.

Gorillas Last Stand?http://kijanimedia.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Virunga_Mountain_Gorilla.jpghttp://kijanimedia.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Virunga_Mountain_Gorilla-150x150.jpg kijanimedia BiodiversityGorilla,,,,,,,,,,
Endangered gorillas may dissappear from the Greater Congo Basin in just 15 years unless something is done urgently to strengthen the enforcement of environmental law and counter poaching. This is according to a UNEP report released on June 4 just before the June 5 World Environment Day in Kigali,...
<a href="http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=628&ArticleID=6601&l=en"><img class="alignright" title="Baby Gorilla" src="http://www.unep.org/NewsCentre/InsertImage.asp?ImageSizeID=3&DocumentID=628&ArticleID=6601" alt="" width="200" height="151" /></a>Endangered gorillas may dissappear from the Greater Congo Basin in just 15 years unless something is done urgently to strengthen the enforcement of environmental law and counter poaching. This is according to a <a href="http://www.unep.org/" target="_blank">UNEP </a>report released on June 4 just before the June 5 World Environment Day in Kigali, Rwanda. Amid these concerns, the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, <a href="http://monuc.unmissions.org/" target="_blank">MONUC</a>, which is set to change its mandate from peacekeeping to stabilization, is planning to airlift 6 gorilla orphans to a sanctuary in Kasughu, in the North Kivu province of the DRC. This precious cargo will arrive sometime in July to join another 4 eastern lowland gorillas that were airlifted by MONUC on 27 May 2010. This operation, which is part of a wider effort to combat the illegal cross-border trade in baby gorillas, which has intensified in recent years with the proliferation of armed groups in the region, could be MONUC's first operation in its new stabilization mandate. Even so, the future of the gorilla remains bleak. The only gorilla species that has recorded an increase in population is the Mountain Gorilla which accoding to recent estimates numbers 700 individuals. The growth of this population which resides exclusively atop the Virunga Volcanoes straddling Uganda, DRC and Rwanda, and the adjacent Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is attributed to intensive cross-border cooperation of the three countries for their conservation. Gorillas are making their last stand at the edge of the abyss of extinction. Illegal logging, mining, charcoal production and increased demand for bushmeat, of which an increasing proportion is ape meat, are the robbers driving these majestic primates to this abyss. In 15 years we may not have any gorillas in the Congo Basin. All efforts to conserve these charismatic great apes should keep that in mind. Everyone should get involved. After all, our grandchildren should have the option to visit these intriguing creatures long after we are gone. <em>A UNEP press release about this operation can be found </em><a href="http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=628&ArticleID=6601&l=en" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em>