The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund protects and studies endangered gorillas every day, and we know this is critical in preventing their extinction due to loss of habitat and other threats they face and may face in the future. Unfortunately, they are just one type of species among the more than one million now facing imminent threats to their survival, according to a recent report issued by the United Nations.
It’s becoming clearer to us every day that our daily protection and presence in the forest protecting gorillas has an even greater role and a much bigger impact beyond the gorillas.
This month, as we celebrate Endangered Species Day, we are thinking about all the important species there are in the two areas where we protect gorillas – the Volcanoes mountains of Rwanda and critical forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We quickly came up with a list of at least 15 that benefit directly from our daily gorilla protection, knowing that there are many more, especially in Congo, that haven’t been identified yet.
Our current list includes a wide variety of plants and animals, including iconic species like chimpanzees, elephants, and leopards, as well as several types of monkeys. And there are many more, all important and all living in gorilla habitat and either endangered or threatened, including two types of pangolins, African golden cats, Grauer’s swamp warblers, hooded vultures, a frog, and even a type of mouse as well as a cherry tree. Our scientists are now studying many of these animals and plants, in addition to our long-running gorilla research.
With so many species facing extinction, Endangered Species Day is both a day to celebrate and a day to remember how much we have to do. Our work protecting gorillas shows that conservation can succeed, if we take action and commit to it forever.
To help us save gorillas and all the other species in their habitat, click here.
To learn more about what you can do on Endangered Species Day, click here