Nations launch new combined effort to save mountain gorillas
The three African nations that still have mountain gorilla populations have agreed to cooperate on a new plan to save the critically endangered primates. Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo hatched a 10-year program to enhance security in the parks and forests that the gorillas call home, as well as other measures. The countries have also agreed to programs aimed at mitigating the harsh poverty in communities surrounding gorilla habitat, which often leads locals to poach wildlife and clear more land. “For the first time, the three countries have decided to protect the great apes which are threatened with extinction and insecurity in the region,” said Moses Mapesa of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The multination plan is largely seen as an important step, but plenty of challenges remain. Notably, armed militants still control a large part of the DRC’s Virunga National Park where over half of the world’s remaining 720 mountain gorillas live.