@BBCAfrica

'Guns, germs and trees' determine gorilla's fate - 11 months ago, 26 Apr 10:07

Helen Briggs

The survival of gorillas in the forests of Africa depends on guns, germs and trees.

So say the scientists behind the largest ever survey of western lowland gorillas across their range.

The study, based on a decade's worth of field research, found more gorillas than in previous estimates.

However, the vast majority are in unprotected areas, where they are at risk from illegal poaching, Ebola and habitat destruction.

A similar picture was found for central chimpanzees. Both great apes live in the remote forests of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

"Guns refers to hunting; germs refers to Ebola; and trees refer to the fact that these are forest animals which need a dense and intact forest to survive," said Dr Fiona Maisels, Conservation Scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and a co-author on the study.

"If you clear the forest they're all gone. If you convert the forest to a ...
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