Praise Congo’s Creation of New National Park that will Protect Critically Endangered Species

Target: Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso

Goal: Thank the Republic of the Congo for creation of a national park that will protect the core population of critically endangered gorillas.

The Republic of the Congo recently declared a new national park that will protect numerous crucial animal populations including gorillas and elephants. The park is yet another achievement in a very long list of wildlife preservation efforts by the Congo and deserves our praise.

There are currently four known sub-species of gorilla: mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, western lowland gorillas and Cross River gorillas. All of them are listed as critically endangered. In response, the Congolese Ministerial Council, presided by Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso, adopted the “Decree Establishing the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park” on December 28th. Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, covers roughly 4,572 square kilometers (1,765 square miles) and contains an estimated 15,000 gorillas, 800 elephants, and 950 chimpanzees. Over 11 percent of the national territory is now protected by national parks, one of the most significant conservation efforts in the world.

In 2008 the Wildlife Conservation Service discovered a population of some 125,000 western lowland gorillas, and the 15,000 within Ntokou-Pikounda are the core population of this group, ensuring the survival of the species. Gorillas in the area are in constant danger as the result of being hunted for bushmeat and the persistent spread of the Ebola virus. Since the discovery of this population the WCS has been actively working to develop vaccinations for Ebola and also to find alternative food sources for those groups of people who rely on hunting them for sustenance.

Please sign the petition below to thank the Republic of the Congo for its continued effort to save vital and endangered species from further decline and hardship. Their persistent commitment to conservation should be an example for the rest of the world.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Nguesso,

You recently established Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, covering 4,572 square kilometers. Not only will it offer protection to gorillas, elephants and many other animals, it will also shelter the core population of the recently discovered western lowland gorilla.

The two primary threats to these gorillas are Ebola and local groups hunting them for bushmeat. To counteract this you have also been working with the Wildlife Conservation Service to create vaccines for Ebola and to identify alternate food sources so the gorillas will no longer be hunted. Thank you so much for ensuring these critically endangered populations will have a chance thrive once again.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: zpics via Flickr

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  • jeff hopkins
  • Antonio Delgado Fenoy
  • Jeanie Streit
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  • sarah cole
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