such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
The world's rarest -- and most camera shy -- great ape has finally been
captured on professional video on a forested mountain in Cameroon,
according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and Germany's NDR
With the assistance of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Cameroon
Program, a film crew from the Hamburg-based NDR Naturfilm managed to
video the elusive Cross River gorilla earlier this year in a stand of
montane trees after weeks of effort in the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary.
The protected area was created in 2008, with the guidance of WCS,
specifically to protect the world's rarest great ape.
"These gorillas are extremely wary of humans and are very difficult
to photograph or film," said Dr. Roger Fotso, Director of the Wildlife
Conservation Society's Cameroon Program. "Eventually, we identified and
staked out some of the gorillas favorite fig trees, which is where we
finally achieved our goal."
"It's unbelievable that one great ape subspecies has never been
filmed for TV so far," said Jörn Röver, Head of NDR Naturfilm. "We hope
that our international production helps to raise awareness for these
magnificent creatures and the work of the WCS."
The only previous footage available of the rare apes was taken from a
long distance with a shaky, hand-held camera in 2005 by a field
Due to the steep mountain terrain, tracking gorillas in Kagwene is
time-consuming and sometimes treacherous. Through the years, WCS
researchers have developed an effective non-invasive monitoring system
aimed at keeping track of the gorillas without disturbing them or
getting them used to human presence. After weeks with WCS's assistance,
the crew finally filmed several minutes of two gorillas feeding on figs
some 30-40 feet above the forest floor.
"These extraordinary images are vital for the fight to save the
world's least known and rarest ape as well as the mountain rainforest on
which they depend," said Dr. James Deutsch, Director of the Wildlife
Conservation Society's Africa Program. "Over the past twenty years,
local communities, the governments of Cameroon and Nigeria, funders, and
committed conservationists have laid the foundation for a great
conservation success story. We hope these pictures will introduce to the
world the lead players in this story, the Cross River gorillas
Funders for efforts to conserve Cross River gorillas include: the US
Fish and Wildlife Service, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (the German
Development Bank), the Arcus Foundation, WWF, the Margot Marsh
Biodiversity Foundation, the Taronga Foundation, the Kolmarden
Fundraising Foundation, and the North Carolina Zoo.
Classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN's Red List, the Cross
River gorilla is the rarest of the four subspecies of gorilla, numbering
fewer than 300 individuals across its entire range in Cameroon and
Nigeria. It is one of two subspecies of western gorilla, the other being
the western lowland gorilla. The eastern gorilla includes two
subspecies: the eastern lowland gorilla, and the famous mountain
gorillas of the Virunga Mountains and southern Uganda (the latter of
which numbers approximately 700 individuals).
The Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary is a small reserve, only 19.5 square
kilometers in size. Nevertheless, it contains a genetically important
segment of the entire Cross River gorilla population; it is estimated
that the sanctuary currently contains approximately 16 individual
While many populations of gorillas are threatened by poachers, the
gorillas of Kagwene have been protected by the local belief that the
apes are people and therefore cannot be hunted or consumed.
Elsewhere, hunting continues to be one of the biggest threats to
Cross River gorillas in addition to habitat destruction. Gorillas are
occasionally targeted by bushmeat hunters in the region, and genetic
analysis of the population reveals a reduction in numbers over the last
200 years that is most likely due to hunting. The fragmentation of their
forest habitat is caused by farming, road-building, and the burning of
forests by pastoralists to encourage new grass for their herds.
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