Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gorillas Come Out on Top!

Actually, this is a bad thing.

According to the Red List of Threatened Species of 2007, compiled by the World Conservation Union, the news just gets worse and worse for gorillas.

The main changes from previous assessments include some of the natural world's iconic animals, such as the western lowland gorilla, which moves from the Endangered to the Critically Endangered category.

Numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20-25 years.

Forest clearance has allowed hunters access to previously inaccessible areas; and the Ebola virus has followed, wiping out one-third of the total gorilla population in protected areas, and up to 95% in some regions.

Ebola has moved through the western lowland gorilla's rangelands in western central Africa from the southwest to the northeast. If it continues its march, it will reach all the remaining populations within a decade.

The news is also bad for orangutans, African vultures, and coral reefs.

Interesting though is the viewpoint by some environmentalists that there is TOO MUCH attention being paid to climate change and not enough to biodiversity.

Many in the environmental movement argue that too much money and attention has gone on climate change, with other issues such as biodiversity, clean water and desertification ignored at the political level.

IUCN's (World Conservation Union) assessment is that climate change is important for many Red List species; but it is not the only threat, and not the most important threat.

So the much-needed attention on climate change is now hurting the survival of species?

I don't buy the argument that we can only focus on one fight at a time. It's a matter of political will. Funny how resources miraculously appear for multiple fronts of a war zone, but to save an animal and its planet, we must "prioritize."

Give me a break.

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