Grauer's Gorilla Deforestation

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Register to read the introduction… One group studied within Kahuzi-Biega was shown to have a range of 42.3 km2 (Yamigawa et al. 2009). Decreasing the amount of land available to Gorillas will undoubtedly shrink the population, confining the remaining individuals, and making them an easier target for poachers. The greatest wave of poaching observed in the DRC occurred during the second civil war. Factors allowing this wave of poaching to take place were the breakdown of protection in the park, combined with widespread famine and the spread of small arms among local populations. Most poachers engaged in the illegal activity for the purpose of preventing their own starvation, and attempting to provide a means of income during a time of conflict and political instability (Yamigawa et al. 2009). While poaching has decreased some since the reinstatement of park security in 2004, the difficult task of patrolling the entire Kahuzi-Biega area has allowed the poaching industry to continue in many …show more content…
The total population was reduced by more than half during the Congolese civil wars, and due to increased instability and lack of institutional safeguards it has not been able to recover as it would under more ideal circumstances. Like many large mammals, Grauer’s gorilla inhabits a vast territory for its home range. Unfortunately, deforestation fueled by agriculture, mining, and increasing populations has led to a decrease in the amount of territory available for the species. Grauer’s gorilla is also threatened by cultural practices in the region, poachers looking to sell the meat for a high price, or simply locals looking for a tasty source of protein. Gorillas are the largest of all extant primates, and second closest relatives of humans behind chimpanzees. Grauer’s gorilla is the largest subspecies of gorilla making it the largest of all primates, even within its own species. Little is known about Grauer’s gorilla due to the lack of stability in the region. For example, what the hell about the biological landscape of the eastern DRC has allowed this gorilla to become so large? If we are to understand that question, and others like it, action needs to be taken immediately in order to protect this endangered species from further loss.


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