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Noted Environmentalist Urges Immediate Action to Save World’s Great Apes

The first link leads to a recent online news piece from the Independent Online, which is based in Zimbabwe. The second link leads to news coverage provided by the BBC, and offers some discussion about Richard Leakey’s proposed solution to the disappearance of Great Apes across the world. The third link will take visitors to the Great Apes Survival Project website (sponsored by the UN), where visitors may read fact sheets about the various Great Apes, look at media coverage of this growing problem, and may also view a world-wide atlas of Great Apes distribution. The fourth link leads to the Leakey Foundation homepage, where visitors may read biographies of the various Leakey family members, learn about their various events, and learn about new findings arising from the work of the Foundation. The fifth link leads to the website of the Kenya Wildlife Service, which was under the direction of Richard Leakey from 1989 to 1994. Here visitors can read about their various conservation efforts throughout Kenya and their wide-ranging outreach programs. The final link leads to the homepage of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Visitors can peruse various materials and fact sheets on the rather severe nature of this phenomenon, and also read in-depth material about the issue of bushmeat, which weighs heavily on the situation of certain Great Apes.
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Alternate Title World’s Great Apes Are Running Out of TimeFences Can Help Apes’ SurvivalGRASP: Great Apes Survival ProjectThe Leakey FoundationKenya Wildlife ServiceConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and FloraThis week the well-respected environmentalist and scientist Richard Leakey made an impassioned plea for assistance in the continued attempt to protect the world’s Great Apes, which include chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans. Current estimates from the United Nations indicate that there are approximately 450,000 Great Apes left in the world, and there is increased concern that they may become extinct within 10 to 15 years if no action is taken in the near future. Leakey suggested that fencing in large areas of habitats for these animals could dramatically reduce poaching, which continues to be a problem. He also noted that while there are some definite success stories (such as the improvement of the situation in Rwanda), overall the picture seemed rather bleak. Leakey also called on the world’s more affluent countries to buttress some of the costs associated with such a program, noting that "The world must wake up to the fact that poor countries can’t bear the financial burden and arrest their development simply because the richer countries feel sentimental." For his own part, Leakey is in charge of the U.N.-based Great Apes Survival Project, which seeks to raise a minimum of $25-million to be utilized over the next three years.
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GEM Subject
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Date of Scout Publication 2004-05-07
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2004/scout-040507#1

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