New National Park means good news for Gorillas

After a huge discovery of western lowland gorillas (a sub species of the western gorilla) was found in central Africa, a new national park has been created.

The newly created Ntokou-Pikounda National Park spans some 4,572 square kilometers (1,765 square miles) and will safeguard western lowland gorillas as well as elephants and chimpanzees. Photo credit: Thomas Breuer/Wildlife Conservation Society-Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
  • Back in 2008 a staggering 125,000 western lowland gorillas were discovered living in the remote swamp forests in northern Republic of Congo, doubling their known population.
  • Since then the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park has been created, protecting 4,572 square kilometres (1,765 square miles) of land.
  • This new park will help to protect 15,000 gorillas, along with 950 chimpanzees and 800 elephants, and ‘is the most representative ecosystem in the country’ said Claude Massimba, the director of Wildlife and Protected Areas for the Republic of Congo.
  • Although poverty is high in the country and it has low levels of development, the country has still managed to protect 11 percent of its land.
  • This iconic species is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN’s red list which means it is at risk of global extinction. The main reasons for the decline in population are due to loss of habitat from deforestation, illegal poaching for bush meat, and disease.
  • This new park should help protect at least some the of gorilla population. Nevertheless, the reasons for its decline in the first place need to be addressed to secure the future of this animal.

Want to learn more?  Read the full story: Gorilla paradise: new park safeguards 15,000 western lowland gorillas

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