The Cross River Gorilla, with fewer than 300 individuals estimated to exist in the wild, is the most endangered of the gorilla subspecies, and is listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered.
This is the highest ranking for species that remain in the wild, and means that the population has decreased by 80% within three generations.
The continued fragmentation of Cross River Gorilla habitat across a large, complex area, together with the threat from hunting and the small number of gorillas remaining, has led to its critically endangered status.
The Cross River Gorilla is one of the 25 most endangered primates worldwide, according to the IUCN.
The main goal of our Cross River Gorilla Conservation Program is to provide long term security to the populations of the Cross River gorillas and Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and their habitats located through research and the implementation of a community based management strategy.
The program focusses on several key objectives:
- Strengthening the capacity of the proposed great ape reserves to conserve the Cross River gorillas and Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees subpopulations;
- Deliver an innovative environmental education strategy;
- Support the development of sustainable livelihoods and economic development initiatives;
- Support the monitoring of the great apes subpopulations in the main forest areas;
Program outputs since 2004 include the creation and management of Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS) and the establishment of bio-monitoring and forest surveillance activities to protect great apes. The program also supports the implementation of sustainable livelihoods and economic development initiatives, the development of a forest protection fund, and recruitment of local rangers. Environmental education and awareness raising is a crucial element in this work.
Major project successes from 2004-2016:
- Creation of Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, a new reserve dedicated to the gorillas;
- Establishment of a great apes monitoring system in 3 key sites – Mak-Betchou forest (proposed Ellioti Chimpanzee Sanctuary), Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and Tofala-Mone Forest Corridor at Ashukem-Bokwa Hills and introduction of camera traps;
- Creation and strengthening of community forest management structures around the newly established Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary;
- Launching of the Livelihoods and Economic Development initiative for the local communities;
- Establishment of a successful environmental education program with annual celebrations and events.
- Increased awareness and commitment of the Cameroon government and general public to the long term protection of these endangered great apes.
With 250-300 individuals remaining, Cross River gorillas are the world's rarest gorilla.
Your help is urgently needed. Please donate today and help create new protected areas for the Cross River Gorillas in South West Cameroon!
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