Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea – A little known species of primates called drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus poensis) are being hunted to extinction due to the illegal bushmeat trade of west/central Africa. They are one of the largest and most colorful species of monkeys in the world and are currently facing their toughest challenge to survival as their habitat is developed and shotgun hunting increases.
The Bioko Island subspecies shares its island with high levels of biodiversity and six other species of threatened primates including the critically endangered Pennant’s Red Colobus. For conservationists on the island, this makes a prime candidate for an umbrella species to be used in conservation awareness campaigns to educate the country on their unique natural heritage. Although the hunting and selling of primates is banned by the government, complete lack of enforcement has led to recent unprecedented levels of primates found in bushmeat markets.
About The Drill Project
“The Drill Project is a conservation initiative aimed at conducting scientific research and providing educational resources to aid in conservation efforts regarding the endangered Drill monkey. Through conservation outreach focused on the use of film and mass media we hope to increase the awareness of these endangered animals and fragile ecosystems thus providing people with the incentive to protect these national resources.”
Started in 2010 by filmmaker Justin Jay and Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program’s Dr. Shaya Honarvar, The Drill Project’s set out to educate the people of Bioko about the importance wildlife plays in their country while trying to preserve the endangered species found on the island. Central to this goal was the creation of an educational wildlife documentary.
About The Film
The film “El Proyecto del Mono Dril” was completed in September 2012 and then donated to Equatorial Guinea’s television stations. The film has since aired numerous times, been screened at political events and also used in the project’s conservation outreach programs. Working with students from the National University of Equatorial Guinea, the film is brought to remote villages that may lack electricity where it is then played through the use of a generator and projector.
Broadcasting for the first time ever images of wild drills, the film highlights their life history and ecology while set within the beautiful forests of Southern Bioko. It is narrated by the native Equato-Guinean Demetrio Bocuma Meñe in the country’s national language of Spanish. The film is told through the perspective of the Guinean people and uses a positive message to elicit a sense of pride and admiration of their natural resources in hopes of gaining the responsibility for their protection.
To learn more about this project, please visit www.thedrillproject.org or contact:
The same story of sadness, bitterness, loss, greed, ruin is told the world over. I used to say “When will we learn?” Their destruction is our destruction. But I have come to believe that we, interlopers, will ever learn. Our destructive and self-destructive urge just cannot be overcome, even by the clearest of empirical evidence.
I have lost all hope except for the one hope that soon, somehow, H.sapiens will go extinct, without taking too much with them. Therein lies just a tiny glimmer of hope for all the rest of the ecosphere.