NEW YORK, Nov. 24 (UPI) — The Wildlife Conservation Society says gorillas living in a large swamp in the Republic of Congo are increasingly threatened by human activity.
The gorillas are part of a group of more than 125,000 gorillas discovered last year in swamp forests adjacent to the southwest border of Lac Tele Community Reserve.
The society says the swamp also supports large numbers of chimpanzees, red colobus monkeys, elephants and other rain forest species.
According to conservation researchers, imminent threats to the swamp include new logging operations, oil exploration, an influx of refugees from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo and, an increase in the human population.
“The world was electrified at the discovery of more than 125,000 western lowland gorillas still in existence in the heart of Africa’s rain forests, which include the recently surveyed gorillas just outside of Lac Tele,” said society researcher Hugo Rainey, the study’s lead author. “Now that the thrill is gone, we can’t forget about the most important part of wildlife surveys: protecting what we find.”
The study’s findings and recommendations appear in the November issue of the journal Oryx.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International