If natural habitats are to be conserved, the people who depend on them must also survive. AWF believes that through conservation enterprise, conservation areas can be developed into commercially viable land, which can leverage space for wildlife while improving the livelihoods of local people. By assisting rural communities to establish conservation enterprises, the presence of wild animals becomes a potentially profitable opportunity rather than a costly nuisance.
An outbreak of Ebola, first confirmed early in 2003 when a band of lowland gorillas in the northwest section of the Congo began to die, is now spreading eastward, claiming the lives of hundreds of gorillas and chimpanzees. To date, the deadly disease has also claimed over 140 human lives, most likely due to the victims eating meat from infected primates
On February 27th, scientists at the Goma Volcano Observatory in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo indicated that seismic activity in the region was increasing "very fast". Mount Nyamuragira, they stated could erupt in a "matter of weeks, or even days".
The Observatory said its scientists were monitoring a potential eruption and were hoping "to prevent possible panic". Local authorities, UN agencies and NGOs were being kept informed.
We see a magnificent African elephant. But a local farmer sees the thing that stepped on his crops. As human settlements interfere with wild animals' dispersal patterns, one of the top dangers to Africa's animals and landscapes is fast becoming human-wildlife conflict. And the results can be deadly for both sides.
A typical example: Through no fault of their own, migrating African elephants often wreak havoc on a farmer's crops and livestock. The farmer then retaliates, killing the elephants. He feels it's a matter of survival. And it is.
Three Rwandan poachers convicted of killing two endangered mountain gorillas and stealing a baby one have been fined and sentenced to four years in prison, an official confirmed on Thursday, January 30th, 2003.
The three poachers, who were former employees of the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda, aimed to sell the baby gorilla abroad after stealing it in on May 9th 2002, and killing two female adults protecting it. This was the first such attack by poachers in almost two decades in Rwanda.