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Protecting the western lowland gorillas of the Mayombe forest

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Protecting the western lowland gorillas of the Mayombe forest

Located in Loaka in the Kakamoeka district, about 150 km north-east of Pointe Noire, the project area, about 900 km², is located in the middle of the Kouilou-Mayombe primary forest and acts as an ecological corridor between two important protected areas: the Conkouati-Ndouli National Park (5,049 km²) and the Dimonika Biosphere Reserve (1,390 km²).

 

This forest is characterized by a great diversity of ecosystems and is home to, among others, western lowland gorillas, (Gorilla gorilla gorilla, CR), chimpanzees, (Pan troglodytes EN), elephants, (Loxodonta africana cyclotis, VU), buffalos, (Syncerus caffer nanus), panthers (Panthera pardus, NT), bush pigs, (Potamocherus porcus).

 

Poaching is the main threat to gorilla populations whose flesh is traded and consumed as bushmeat in the surrounding villages and in the large towns nearby, mainly in Pointe-Noire.

 

ESI Congo, a Congolese association which benefits from the support of a team of French volunteers, has already carried out two PPI projects, since 2012, which have provided good results by training former hunters to carry out transects for monitoring gorillas and by supporting the creation of a cooperative.

 

Inventories carried out in the area revealed a high density of gorillas estimated at 0.81 individuals / km². The objective of this project is to continue its gorilla protection activities by reducing hunting and developing income-generating activities. This project is part of a global program: “Great Apes of Central Africa of the PPI”, (PPI-GSAC), which is a joint initiative developed by 6 African Civil Society Organizations, partners of the PPI in Central Africa whose objective is the pooling of their experiences and an action program.