New National Park in Congo Will House 15,000 Gorillas

Lowland western gorillas on the brink of extinction, need all the help they can get

High officials in the Republic of Congo have recently made it public news that the country's northern swamp forests now stand at the core of a new national park, whose main purpose is that of safeguarding as many as 15,000 lowland western gorillas.

For those unaware, these animals are presently listed as a critically endangered species, which basically means that they are in dire need of help if they are to avoid completely falling off the biodiversity map.

According to Mongabay, it was back in 2008 when the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS, for short) made it public news that said area in the Republic of Congo was home to an impressive population of 125,000 such gorillas, which for one reason or another went unnoticed by wildlife researchers for a considerable period of time.

The country's new national park, the Ntokou-Pikounda, is meant to safeguard 15,000 animals belonging to this recently discovered population.

Needless to say, other species are set to also benefit from this park's being established.

Thus, roughly 950 chimpanzees and 800 elephants are to inhabit the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, the same source informs us.

Commenting on the Republic of Congo's decision to turn these forests into a national park, the WCS Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science, John Robinson, argued as follows: “This new park is wonderful news for gorillas and for conservation in Central Africa.”

Backing up this statement, the Director of Wildlife and Protected Areas for the Republic of Congo, Claude Massimba, made a case of how, “The creation of this new protected area is part of our policy of conservation and sustainable management of the most representative ecosystems in the country.”

As wildlife researchers explain, lowland western gorillas are actually a subspecies of the western gorilla, and two major threats that these animals must currently face are having their habitat destroyed by humans and being hunted for bushmeat.

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