Experts Sound Alarm Over Shrinking Ape Habitats

Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014 09:11 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The accelerated and unsustainable exploitation of the earth's primary natural resources has become a major threat to apes in Africa and Asia, a major United Nations environment conference heard Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the UN Environment Assembly, conservationists said infrastructure development and extraction of natural resources -- including timber, minerals, oil and gas -- have devastated the prime habitat of apes and pushed chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, orangutans and gibbons closer to extinction.

"There's absolutely no doubt that extractive industries are severely impacting on apes and their habitats," said Helga Rainer, conservation director of the Great Apes program at the Arcus Foundation, the world's largest private funder of ape conservation.

"Only five out of 27 ape (habitats) do not have a mining project within their range... and there is also an indirect impact associated with infrastructure development such as roads and railways," she added.

But while the cost to apes of economic development has been acknowledged for decades, researchers say more needs to be done to integrate their preservation into broader social, economic and environmental policies.

"We need to develop safeguards and environmental policies that can address these issues effectively," said Jef Dupain, director of the African Apes Initiative at the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation.

Experts predict that at the current rate, human development will have impacted 90 percent of the apes' habitat in Africa and 99 percent in Asia by 2030, according to a new report titled "State of the Apes: Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation".

All species of apes are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), some critically so.

There are about 880 mountain gorillas across Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, while Cross River gorillas in Cameroon and Nigeria are thought not to exceed 250.

"There's a lot of pressure from mining activities, so you can see the pressure being exerted," said Andrew Seguya, executive director of the Ugandan Wildlife Authority.

In Asia, Sumatran orangutans are believed to have declined by 50 percent since 1992, and the entire population of Hainan black-crested gibbons in China amounts to just 21 individuals.

"A key message of 'State of the Apes' report is that the global systems of production, consumption and demography are interconnected, and that rapid globalization will continue to exert intense pressure on natural resources and ape habitats," officials said in a joint statement.

© AFP 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Apple Sees Another IPhone-Fueled Record for Holiday Sales

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 06:13 AM

Tim Cook is getting the end-of-year shopping season down to a science.
Apple Inc.'s chief executive officer yesterd . . .

Microsoft Plans to Launch Smartwatch in Weeks: Forbes

Sunday, 19 Oct 2014 19:00 PM

Microsoft Corp. is preparing to launch a smartwatch within the next few weeks that will passively track a user's heart r . . .

Facebook Unfriends Federal Drug Agency

Saturday, 18 Oct 2014 13:13 PM

Facebook wants assurances from the Drug Enforcement Administration that it's not operating any more fake profile pages a . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved