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Eastern gorillas are disappearing fast. Due to civil wars and mining for coltan

The pace at which disappears from the world of the last representatives of the subspecies of eastern gorilla (G. beringei graueri) took turns frightening, and if it is to their rescue ever succeeds, it will be necessary to redouble efforts so far. Reports on the recent report of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Today he lives in the jungles on the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) eastern gorilla 3800. They last anywhere else no longer. On the situation in eastern gorilla informs ScienceDaily .

Eastern gorillas are very well-studied species, at least in terms of the causes of threats. Their catastrophic decline bears part of the blame illegal hunting for meat, loss of natural habitat and in its essence and protracted civil wars and local conflicts. And although civil war is perceived as a human tragedy, in essence hasten the rate of extinction of gorillas. Over the last twenty years, their number decreased by 77%.

In 1995 we counted 17 000, but that was raging in neighboring Rwanda genocide. Hundreds of thousands of hungry refugees perished gratitude and gorillas. A year later, a civil war raged in the DRC, the unrest continued until 2003 in the region claimed 5 million human victims. Along with that, as individual governments as a result of the revolution and tribal cleansing losing control over their own territory, complicating the situation and gorillas.

In the list of causes of fatal danger to the gorillas, there is one item that relates to the developed world. The fundamental problem gorillas and local people had coltan . Coltan, or columbite-tantalit, a metallic ore, which is widely used in modern technologies. Can not do without him, no one who produces and uses cell phones, digital cameras, scanners and laptops. In the Congo is yet 80% of all world reserves of this metal. Dig coltan means for local survival. At the same time, this means working in the illegal mines in the jungle under the supervision of armed rebels and live by what the area offers. Maybe even a male weighing 200 kg eastern gorilla.

Their territory is fairly small (400-800 hectares) and are easy on him dostopovatelné. Coltan mining and hunting gorillas often takes place directly in national parks and local guardians are unable to prevent paramilitary gunmen in their actions. International conservation organizations (ICCN, WCS, and Fauna & Flora International), together with local partners to agree on a solution to the crisis gorilla. Just listing the various steps leading to salvation but does not give much hope for gorillas.

According to conservation organizations must be legally defined and secure borders a nature reserve Itombwe a gorilla reserve Punia, actively combat illegal coltan mining in national parks, enforce mining on a legal basis and support the licensed mining, respectful environment gorillas. Important, but demanding the disarmament of paramilitary militias in the region. Easier support should be guardians of national parks protecting the gorillas and their environment. Systemically will need to find alternative sources of income for local residents (other than the illegal mining of coltan). And finally impress manufacturer of mobile technologies, to ensure the collection of coltan only from legally operating mines whose workers are not involved in the poaching of gorillas.


Author: Radomír Dohnal

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