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The chimpanzees in Sierra Leone are paying the price of human expansion



hunt chimpanzees for their meat, farmers shoot them to protect their crops and a lack of political will means their habitat is left to urban development and forestry

They have their hands full at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where they are provided with numerous orphaned chimpanzees, victims of the relentless proliferation of human activity.

Poachers chase them for their flesh, farmers shoot them to protect their crops and a lack of political will means more and more of their habitat is left to urban development and forestry.

Founder of the Shrine Bala Amarasekaran not

"In the last 1

0 years, the environment has suffered greatly due to the large-scale construction of houses, logging and mining with the approval of corrupt politicians and officials of the Ministry," he said.

Several species of wildlife around the forest, he added, have been wiped out.

The plight of the chimpanzees reflects the message of the WWF's new Living Planet report, released on Tuesday. The devastation of the planet's wildlife is largely due to "burned-out human consumption."

Over the past three months Sanctuary of Sierra Leone to get seven orphaned chimpanzees, a record number. But these numbers only indicate the true extent of the carnage, Amarasekaran said.

They calculated that for every chimpanzee they received, up to 10 others could have been killed. In the last three or four months, between 70 and 100 chimpanzees would have died.

"Sometimes They Even Cry for Me"

"Most chimpanzees who arrive at the sanctuary are less than five years old and would still suck milk from their mothers," said Mama Posseh Kamara, who acts as surrogate mother for the newcomers in the sanctuary.

"Many have lost their mothers to bush hunters, leaving or illegally selling pets," she explained.

As she spoke, she was feeding one of her new loads of milk, a four-month-old baby chimpanzee, while several others climbed over her back and head.

"I've been doing this job for the past 14 years," she said. "They usually see me as their mother because I feed and clean them every day, sometimes they even cry for me."

While they do what they can to protect the wildlife habitat, their efforts are often undone by local action, Amarasekaran said.

"We planted over 4,000 trees around Freetown National Park," he said.

"But city planners abandoned housing construction because of lawlessness, greed and corruption

" The government should stop all human activity in our forests to protect biodiversity. As we continue to exhaust our environment, nothing remains for the future. "

" Outdated "Laws

Western Chimpanzees are the only endangered chimpanzees – subspecies that have already been eradicated Burkina Faso, Benin, Gambia – and possibly Togo [19659005] According to the American Journal of Primatology their population plunged by more than 80 percent between 1990 and 2014. And in Sierra Leone, about 10 percent of an estimated 55,000 live wild.

And the loss of their natural Habitat just makes the situation worse.

"Sierra Leone is losing a lot of forest cover, because of human activities," the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Nyabenyi Tito Tipo told AFP during their visit to the sanctuary

"Our Forests need to be protected, regenerated and not depleted, "she added.

But for Papanie Bai Sesay, biodiversity officer on conservation Society There are two problems with Sierra Leone's current nature conservation laws in Sierra Leone

"We have outdated laws of nature dating back to 1978," he said.

But the other problem was more fundamental, he

"Our current laws and guidelines for protecting the forests are not enforced by the authorities either."

Fight against deforestation

Beran Forster, deputy director of Sierra Leone's Environmental Protection Agency, confirms the magnitude of the problem

"The biggest environmental impact in Sierra Leone is the spread of humans into the country Wilderness, the bushfire to clean up the soils and the hunt for wild animals for bushmeat, "he said.

"Deforestation through unsustainable logging practices for exporting tree trunks represents the worst environmental situation."

In response, they sought to educate residents about the effects of deforestation and replant them throughout the country

International partners such as the US Embassy in Freetown are also helping.

They are funding an agricultural project to sustainably improve crop diversity and are committed to the villages near the Tacugama Sanctuary.

But change must come soon, warned Amarasekaran

The Freetown National Park has a high biodiversity: a large number of species of both plant and animal life, including snakes, birds, butterflies, chimpanzees and other monkeys, he said [19659005] But he added, "If we continue to exhaust our environment, there will be nothing left for the future."


Further information:
Ebola Retreat applauds the chimpanzees of Sierra Leone

Reference to the journal:
American Journal of Primatology


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