February 4, 2013
New Park to Protect Western Lowland Gorillas
The Fossey Fund is delighted to learn that another significant gorilla population will be protected by a new national park, in the Republic of Congo. Some 15,000 western lowland gorillas were discovered by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in the northern part of that country in 2008, within the boundaries of the new Ntokou-Pikounda National Park. WCS announced the designation of the new park on January 31, complimenting the Republic of Congo’s government for its leadership and foresight.
Like all gorillas, western lowland gorillas are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, although with an estimated total population of 125,000 they are more numerous than the critically endangered mountain gorillas and Grauer’s gorillas. The gorillas located by WCS live in a remote forest known as “the green abyss” because of its density, almost impenetrable to people. The new park also harbors other endangered species such as elephants and chimpanzees, and includes wetlands that offer a habitat for fish, crocodiles and hippopotami.
The Republic of Congo, sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville after its capital, borders the Democratic Republic of Congo (capital: Kinshasa), home of the Grauer’s gorilla.