EAZA Ape Campaign
THANK-YOU to everyone who helped Dublin Zoo raise money for the EAZA Ape Campaign. The total amount raised for the EAZA Ape Campaign in 2011 was €11,268.56! This amount was matched by Dublin Zoo so a final total of €22,537.12 was sent from Dublin Zoo for ape conservation.
The EAZA Ape Campaign was instigated to make a significant and lasting contribution to the continued survival of apes and their habitats. All ape species except humans are threatened with extinction and if we don’t act now, these magnificent animals could disappear from the wild forever. Therefore, Dublin Zoo participated in the European-wide EAZA Ape Campaign to raise awareness and funds for ape conservation.
What are apes? Apes include chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, bonobos and 16 species of gibbons.
Threats? All the apes are threatened and almost all are either endangered or critically endangered. The main threats are from hunting, deforestation and disease. Apes low reproductive rate means that rate of recovery is slow even when threats are removed.
Why conserve apes? We need to ensure the apes survive and thrive not simply because they are iconic and we have a mo ral obligation to do so. Tropical forests are essential to humans and apes play a vital role as in maintaining the forests they inhabit. They help maintain the forest structure and are important seed dispersers for many plant species.
What you can continue to do to help apes……
- Only buy certified tropical wood e.g. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.
Most ape species can survive in responsibly logged areas.
- When on holidays never get your picture taken with an ape or eat bushmeat.
Both these actions add pressure to wild populations of ape species and increase their rate of decline.
- Recycle your old mobile phones
Less mobile phones mean less mining for coltan (Columbite-tantalite) in the Congo and therefore less destruction of gorilla rainforest habitat.
Where does the money raised go?
There are currently 4 projects selected to receive funds. However, more projects will be selected throughout 2011to cover all ape species.
All projects are selected using the following criteria: make a significant contribution to saving apes; consider local people and the environment at large; provide a means of measuring their efficacy; and represent good value for money.
FFI Cao Gibbon Conservation Project
There are less than 100 cao-vit crested gibbons left in the wild (Vietnam and China).
With the funds received, this project will be able to improve monitoring and data collection of these gibbons and their habitat. Community conservation grants will also be distributed which will reduce habitat degradation and support local livelihoods.
Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme
This programme is based in Borneo and promotes the importance of maintaining viable orangutan habitat through the sustainable management of forests outside of protected areas. Funds from the Ape Campaign will be used to link eleven lots of forest and will study how orangutans survive in degraded habitats. Funding will also be used to promote sustainable uses of commercial timber production forests will allow for the survival or orangutans (60% of Sabah’s orangutans live outside of protected forests). Finally, wildlife-human conflict mitigations measures will be expanded.
Awely’ Green Caps (Bonobo)
This project is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a very poor region where there is a high dependency on bushmeat (including bonobos) for local consumption and to sell to generate income. This project aims to reduce the dependency of the local people on bushmeat. With the funds received, a vet infrastructure will be set up for livestock, thus reducing the need for bushmeat. Money will also be used monitoring bushmeat activities, changing attitudes towards bonobos through education and establishing mirco-projects which take the pressure off the local biodiversity.
Dja Biosphere Reserve (western lowland gorillas and chimpanzees)
Dja Biosphere Reserve (DBR) is located in Cameroon. This project works with 35 communities around the DBR in creating revenue-generating activities to reduce the impact of unsustainable activities in the reserve especially the bushmeat trade on gorillas and chimpanzees. The project is also involved with conservation education, supporting law enforcement and antipoaching activities and carrying out scientific research.
What is the conservation status of apes in Dublin Zoo?
Western lowland gorillas
Critically endangered – population decline of 60% in the past 20-25 years (one generation).
Main threats are high levels of hunting and disease especially Ebola (up to 95% mortality in some areas hit by this disease).
Wild population less than 95,000
Endangered - Estimated decline of at least 50% during the last 60 years (generation length estimated at 20 years).
Threats include forest loss due to conversion of forest to agriculture (including palm oil) and fires. The majority of remnant wild populations are located outside of protected areas, in forests that are exploited for timber production or in the process of being converted to agriculture. Last but not least, poaching and the pet-trade remain major threats to orangutans across most of Borneo.
Wild population approx 54,000
Endangered – 66% population reduction in the past 30 years (one generation is estimated to be 20 years) and it is suspected that this reduction will continue for the next 30 to 40 years. The maximum population reduction over a three-generation (i.e., 60 year) period from the 1970s to 2030 is suspected to exceed 50%.
Threats include deforestation (agriculture, logging and oil/mining), poaching (bushmeat, pet trade, medicine, crop protection), diseases such as Ebola and the effects of armed conflicts.
Wild population between 172,000 and 301,000
Endangered - declined by at least 50% over the past 40 years (three generations)
Threats - hunting for pet trade and continued rates of habitat loss (mainly as a result of expanding agriculture and road building).
Wild population about 200,000
All ape species except humans are threatened with extinction.
If we don’t act now, these magnificent animals could disappear from the wild forever.......