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美国动物保护组织拯救克罗斯河大猩猩

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小编摘要:美国正在帮助挽救一种濒临绝种的西非大猩猩物种。美国鱼类及野生动物保护组织及国际野生动物保护学会已经有了一项五年计划, 以确保灵长类动物的存活。

美国动物保护组织拯救克罗斯河大猩猩

The U.S. is helping to save an elusive and endangered species of gorilla in West Africa. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wildlife Conservation Society have developed a five-year plan to ensure the survival of the primate .
Dirck Byler of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service said the Cross River gorilla is not as well-known as its relatives in other parts of Africa.
"There's two different species of gorilla actually. There's the western gorilla and the eastern gorilla. And the one that people are most familiar with are the eastern gorillas, specifically the subspecies known as the mountain gorilla, which is found in Rwanda and Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The western gorilla is found in the western part of the Congo Basin in countries such as Cameroon, Gabon, northern Republic of the Congo. And then one of their subspecies is called the Cross River gorilla. And this is the most endangered gorilla species today," he said.
In fact, the Cross River gorilla has been classified as "critically endangered" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the IUCN.
"It's much more endangered than the mountain gorilla is and unfortunately hasn't received as much attention over the years," said Byler.
Byler, program officer for the Great Ape Conservation Fund at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said it's believed there are only a few hundred of the gorillas left.
"We don't really have a good estimate of what the population was before, but it was likely many thousands. But over the last hundred years as human population has grown in this area they were hunted down to a very small level of 250 to 300 individuals scattered across 13 little pockets on the border of Nigeria and Cameroon," he said.
Just 10 to 15 years ago, the Cross River gorilla was thought to be either extinct or nearly extinct.
"With actually a lot of support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the work of conservation NGOs like the Wildlife Conservation Society we've been able to get a handle on where the remaining populations exist. So our understanding from a scientific point of view has increased dramatically," he said.
Two new national parks have opened in Cameroon that offer safe haven for the gorilla. One is the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, which was created with a grant from the service. The other is the Takamanda National Park, which was converted from a forest reserve.
Part of the five-year plan to save the Cross River gorilla is to have local communities act as guardians for the primates.
Byler said, "Many of the gorilla populations still lie outside protected areas and national parks and will never probably be included in national parks. And so through working with local communities to curtail hunting and to provide alternatives to hunting in many of these places we think we can get a handle on hopefully stabilizing the population and even increasing it."
So how many Cross River gorillas would there have to be in order for the species to be considered safe? Byler said it's difficult to set what's called a goal population.
"Maybe doubling the population in the next 20 or 30 years would be tremendous. And whether that would be enough to ensure its long term sustainability is in question, but it sure would be great progress if we could achieve that. The reproductive rate of gorillas is very slow and it takes a long time to actually increase a population," he said.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is able to offer its assistance in Africa and elsewhere through the Great Ape Conservation Fund. It was established by Congress in 2000. The fund allows the service to offer conservation grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

美国正在帮助挽救一种濒临绝种的西非大猩猩物种。美国鱼类及野生动物保护组织及国际野生动物保护学会已经有了一项五年计划, 以确保灵长类动物的存活。
美国鱼类及野生动物保护组织的德瑞克•贝乐尔称克罗斯河大猩猩在非洲的其他部分地区不是像它的亲戚那样很有名。
“实际上有两种不同种类的大猩猩。它们是西部大猩猩和东部大猩猩。人们最熟悉的是东部大猩猩,特别是在乌干达和卢旺达及刚果民主共和国发现的被称为亚种的山地大猩猩。西部大猩猩分布在刚果盆地西部的一些国家,如喀麦隆、加蓬及刚果北部。然后它们的其中一个亚种被称为克罗斯河大猩猩。现今它们已经是最濒危物种。”他说道。
事实上,克洛斯河大猩猩已被IUCN,即世界自然保护联盟列为“濒临绝种”。
“它们比山地大猩猩更为濒临灭绝,不幸的是多年以来没有得到足够的重视。“贝乐尔说道。
贝乐尔在美国鱼类及野生动物保护组织猿类自然保护基金项目担任主管,他称目前只剩下几百只大猩猩。
“我们真的没有很好的估计之前的大猩猩数量,但可能是数千只。但是在过去的几百年中,随着人类在这一地区的人口增长,他们开始在尼日利亚和喀麦隆边境猎杀大猩猩,结果导致大猩猩数量骤降到一个非常小的水平,几乎只剩下250只到300只。”他说。
仅10年到15年前,克洛斯河大猩猩被认为是已经灭绝或几乎灭绝。
“借助来自美国鱼类及野生动物服务组织及野生动物保护协会等非政府组织的帮助,我们已经能够掌握现在大猩猩仅存数量的一手资料。所以我们从科学的角度上的理解在急剧增加。”他说道。
两个新的国家公园在喀麦隆开放,这为大猩猩提供了安全之所。一个是借助美国鱼类及野生动物服务组织提供帮助的卡格文尼大猩猩圣地。另一个是从森林保护区转变而来的塔卡曼达国家公园。
这个五年计划的另一部分是让当地社区作为灵长类动物的监护人拯救克洛斯河大猩猩。
贝乐尔说道:“很多大猩猩仍然在保护区域之外而且还有国家公园并没有囊括在国家公园之内。所以藉助与当地社区的合作减少狩猎和在很多这样的地方提供狩猎替代选择,我们认为能够掌控局势并希望稳定大猩猩数量,甚至达到增加的效果。”
那么有多少克洛斯河大猩猩才会被认为是安全的物种呢?贝乐尔称很难确定什么是目标人口。
“也许在未来20或30年大猩猩数量会翻倍,这个数量无疑将是巨大的。是否这就足够了,是否能确保其长期的可持续发展是个问题,但如果我们能达到这个效果,这肯定会是很大的进步。因为大猩猩繁殖率非常慢,需要很长时间来实际增加人口。”他说道。
美国鱼类及野生动物保护组织通过猿类保护基金能够对非洲和其他地区提供帮助。它是由美国国会在2000年成立。基金可以允许这个组织将捐助从50000美元增加到100000美元。

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2012-03-21 21:00 编辑:pliny
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