Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 6 News List

Logging, mining threaten central African gorillas


Gorillas in central Africa are in danger from illegal logging, mining and from hunters who are killing great apes for meat, said a joint report from the UN and Interpol released on Wednesday.

A previous report in 2002 estimated that only 10 percent of gorillas would remain by 2030. The author of the 2002 report and of the newly released one said that estimate now appears too optimistic.

“We fear now that the gorillas may become extinct from most parts of their range in perhaps 15 years,” UN Environmental Program’s (UNEP) Christian Nellemann said.

One of the dangers gorillas now face is a large increase in logging for timber that is destined for Asia, particularly China, he said.

UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said: “This is tragedy for the great apes and one also for countless other species being impacted by this intensifying and all too often illegal trade. In short it is environmental crime and theft by the few and the powerful at the expense of the poor and the vulnerable.”

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