New plan aims to save endangered great apes of Africa

Conservationists are angling to raise $30 million to stop gorillas and chimpanzees from going extinct in the wild within a human generation. The U.N. Environment Program’s just-released “World Atlas of Great Apes and Their Conservation” reveals a poor prognosis for the survival of gorilla and chimp populations in Africa, where their tribulations include habitat destruction, being hunted as “bushmeat,” and the Ebola virus. A coalition of scientists, governments, and conservation groups has unveiled a five-year plan to save Africa’s great apes, calling for crackdowns on poaching, improved monitoring, development of alternate industries like tourism, and other steps. “As dire as the threats are to the survival of great apes, it’s important for the world to know that this is not a lost cause,” said conservationist and plan coauthor Emma Stokes.