Home » News: Cross River Gorillas: A Potential Boost to Local Tourism, says Wild Africa Fund

News: Cross River Gorillas: A Potential Boost to Local Tourism, says Wild Africa Fund

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Cross River Gorillas

In a passionate call to action, the Wild Africa Fund is urging the public to rally behind efforts to safeguard Nigeria’s unique Cross River gorillas.

According to pulse.ng, these magnificent creatures, teetering on the brink of extinction, hold the promise of not only preserving biodiversity but also becoming a powerful driver of local tourism.

Festus Iyorah, the Nigeria Representative of the Wild Africa Fund, delivered this message in a statement released to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. The organization’s mission is clear: protect the Cross River gorillas, their populations, and their habitat, and reduce the demand for commercial bushmeat that poses a grave threat to these remarkable animals.

READ: Africa: We shall take revenge on the gorrillas and elephants if they keep destroying our Farmlands- Cross River villages to Experts

Cross River gorillas inhabit the mountainous region straddling Nigeria and Cameroon, representing Africa’s most endangered ape species. Shockingly, records indicate that fewer than 300 of these gorillas remain in the wild, with roughly 100 living within Nigeria’s Cross River State, and the rest in Cameroon.

In Nigeria, they find sanctuary in places like the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, the Mbe Mountains, and the Okwangwo division of the Cross River National Park. However, their existence is under relentless assault from various threats, including hunting and habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, commercial logging, and the encroachment of human settlements into their territory.

While the hunting of gorillas has seen a reduction in recent years, another peril lurks in the form of wire snares set for other animals in the bushmeat trade. These snares can inadvertently capture gorillas, subjecting them to injuries and, tragically, death.

READ: Tourism: Finally, Pictures of first-known group of African lowland gorillas released from Cross River, Nigeria

Festus Iyorah emphasized the critical nature of protecting the Cross River Gorillas, stating, “We can’t afford to lose even one of our 100 Cross River Gorillas at this critical stage. Let us all come together to protect the Cross River Gorilla and ensure that these remarkable species continue to thrive in our country for generations to come.”

The Wild Africa Fund commended Nigeria’s efforts to address these challenges and protect the Cross River Gorilla. Collaborative initiatives involving the National Park Service, the Cross River State Government, and local and international conservation organizations are in motion. These endeavors aim to safeguard the gorilla’s habitat, enforce anti-poaching laws, and promote community-based conservation initiatives.

The benefits of protecting the gorillas extend far beyond their survival. Gorilla-based tourism, an industry that has thrived in countries like Rwanda and Uganda, offers a win-win scenario for both conservation and economic development. Tourists from around the world are drawn to the magic of gorilla encounters, fueling foreign currency revenue and funding community development projects such as schools and healthcare centers.

For instance, in Rwanda, gorilla trekking accounted for a substantial 14 percent of the $498 million the country earned from tourism in 2018, even after doubling the cost of gorilla trekking permits to $1,500 per person. In Uganda, tourism brought in an impressive $1.6 billion in 2018-19, contributing 7.7 percent of the country’s GDP and providing employment for at least 667,000 people.

Peter Knights, the CEO of the Wild Africa Fund, stated, “If wildlife can be successfully protected in Nigeria, it can become a major driver of increased tourism and jobs.”

To raise awareness and rally support, the Wild Africa Fund has launched a month-long public awareness campaign. This campaign utilizes radio, TV, newspapers, billboards, and social media to educate the public about the threats facing the Cross River gorillas and to amplify the laws and anti-poaching measures that protect them.

The campaign also features messages from high-profile celebrity ambassadors, including Davido, Laycon, Emanuella, and Alex Iwobi. Furthermore, it includes short documentaries spotlighting ongoing efforts to protect gorillas and their habitat.

In this pivotal moment, the call to protect the Cross River gorillas resonates not just as a conservation imperative but as an opportunity to breathe life into local tourism, fostering economic growth and securing a future where humans and gorillas coexist in harmony.

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News: Cross River Gorillas: A Potential Boost to Local Tourism, says Wild Africa Fund

by Atqnews
0 comment
IDA CHAM

In a passionate call to action, the Wild Africa Fund is urging the public to rally behind efforts to safeguard Nigeria’s unique Cross River gorillas.

According to pulse.ng, these magnificent creatures, teetering on the brink of extinction, hold the promise of not only preserving biodiversity but also becoming a powerful driver of local tourism.

Festus Iyorah, the Nigeria Representative of the Wild Africa Fund, delivered this message in a statement released to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. The organization’s mission is clear: protect the Cross River gorillas, their populations, and their habitat, and reduce the demand for commercial bushmeat that poses a grave threat to these remarkable animals.

READ: Africa: We shall take revenge on the gorrillas and elephants if they keep destroying our Farmlands- Cross River villages to Experts

Cross River gorillas inhabit the mountainous region straddling Nigeria and Cameroon, representing Africa’s most endangered ape species. Shockingly, records indicate that fewer than 300 of these gorillas remain in the wild, with roughly 100 living within Nigeria’s Cross River State, and the rest in Cameroon.

In Nigeria, they find sanctuary in places like the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, the Mbe Mountains, and the Okwangwo division of the Cross River National Park. However, their existence is under relentless assault from various threats, including hunting and habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, commercial logging, and the encroachment of human settlements into their territory.

While the hunting of gorillas has seen a reduction in recent years, another peril lurks in the form of wire snares set for other animals in the bushmeat trade. These snares can inadvertently capture gorillas, subjecting them to injuries and, tragically, death.

READ: Tourism: Finally, Pictures of first-known group of African lowland gorillas released from Cross River, Nigeria

Festus Iyorah emphasized the critical nature of protecting the Cross River Gorillas, stating, “We can’t afford to lose even one of our 100 Cross River Gorillas at this critical stage. Let us all come together to protect the Cross River Gorilla and ensure that these remarkable species continue to thrive in our country for generations to come.”

The Wild Africa Fund commended Nigeria’s efforts to address these challenges and protect the Cross River Gorilla. Collaborative initiatives involving the National Park Service, the Cross River State Government, and local and international conservation organizations are in motion. These endeavors aim to safeguard the gorilla’s habitat, enforce anti-poaching laws, and promote community-based conservation initiatives.

The benefits of protecting the gorillas extend far beyond their survival. Gorilla-based tourism, an industry that has thrived in countries like Rwanda and Uganda, offers a win-win scenario for both conservation and economic development. Tourists from around the world are drawn to the magic of gorilla encounters, fueling foreign currency revenue and funding community development projects such as schools and healthcare centers.

For instance, in Rwanda, gorilla trekking accounted for a substantial 14 percent of the $498 million the country earned from tourism in 2018, even after doubling the cost of gorilla trekking permits to $1,500 per person. In Uganda, tourism brought in an impressive $1.6 billion in 2018-19, contributing 7.7 percent of the country’s GDP and providing employment for at least 667,000 people.

Peter Knights, the CEO of the Wild Africa Fund, stated, “If wildlife can be successfully protected in Nigeria, it can become a major driver of increased tourism and jobs.”

To raise awareness and rally support, the Wild Africa Fund has launched a month-long public awareness campaign. This campaign utilizes radio, TV, newspapers, billboards, and social media to educate the public about the threats facing the Cross River gorillas and to amplify the laws and anti-poaching measures that protect them.

The campaign also features messages from high-profile celebrity ambassadors, including Davido, Laycon, Emanuella, and Alex Iwobi. Furthermore, it includes short documentaries spotlighting ongoing efforts to protect gorillas and their habitat.

In this pivotal moment, the call to protect the Cross River gorillas resonates not just as a conservation imperative but as an opportunity to breathe life into local tourism, fostering economic growth and securing a future where humans and gorillas coexist in harmony.

You may also like

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