Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gorilla adoption makes a great gift for the holidays!

Top 5 Reasons to Adopt a Gorilla Through The Fossey Fund:

1. Ensure our anti-poaching patrols work 365 days a year in 2012.
This year some of the gorilla groups we monitor spent long amounts of time outside the protected park, feeding on seasonal bamboo and other plants at the lower altitudes. Without the money raised from adoptions, we would not have been able to protect them around the clock as they wandered around.

2. Ensure the continued growth of the mountain gorilla population.
Fewer than 800 mountain gorillas remain on the planet. However, the mountain gorilla is the only type of gorilla growing in population. Help keep this momentum going!

3. Receive an adoption certificate and profile about your gorilla.
Have the unique opportunity to learn more about one of the gorillas we monitor on an intimate level. Each adoption comes with a profile that includes detailed information written by our expert field scientists about your gorilla. You’ll also get special access to a gallery of Karisoke and GRACE center gorilla photos, stories and profiles.

4. Gorilla adoption makes the perfect gift for hard-to-buy-for friends.
Stumped about what to get a friend, family member or colleague? A gorilla adoption makes the perfect feel-good gift this holiday season. Here’s what Fossey supporter, Cindy Broder, says, about her Adopt giving:

“This past holiday season I was thinking about gifts for friends and my husband’s clients, and I wanted to express our love and appreciation for them in a more meaningful way. So, I read about the gorilla adoptions, with their different choices and levels of giving. I chose to give silverback adoptions because they are so awe-inspiring that I think they make the best introduction to the gorillas."
"The response was incredible! There wasn’t one person who didn’t write and say it was the best thing anyone had ever done for them. Some of their children drew pictures of the gorillas on the thank-you cards. One friend joked that he was adding on a suite to his house so his silverback and family could come visit! It just touches peoples’ hearts in such a different way, no matter how many incredible experiences they have had.”

5. Know you are part of the solution.
The top threats facing the mountain gorilla population are all from humans: poaching, habitat destruction and disease. Be a part of the group of people that helps counter these threats and saves an important species from extinction.

Don’t let this holiday season go by without doing your part to save the gorillas you care about...

Holiday special -- free DVD of PBS/Nature special "The Gorilla King" with all Adopt orders (except Green adoption). Free shipping too!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Latest Fossey Fund Field Blog Post

Many Possible Outcomes for Gwiza / Titus Group Interaction...
After the 17th day of interaction between Gwiza and the Titus group of gorillas, led by silverback Rano for the past two years, the situation’s outcome remains unclear. According to the Fossey Fund’s Gorilla Program Manager Veronica Vecellio, many different scenarios could unfold. The gorillas have already begun to group together and then regroup, resulting in several different formations as both Gwiza and Rano have assumed the role of lead silverback.
The field staff observed Gwiza leading all but two silverbacks (who remained with Rano) at last week’s end. Today however, the group members are rejoined with Rano while Gwiza and female Fat are resting, feeding and nesting together, 15-20 meters from the group. It is possible that the couple could split off on their own, starting a new research group of gorillas.
Unfortunately, infanticide is yet another possible outcome of this situation and the field staff are concerned about pregnant female Imvune. If Gwiza decides to stay, moving into the dominant silverback position, and Imvune gives birth, it is likely that Gwiza will kill the infant (who was clearly sired by another male).  Fossey Fund Karisoke researchers plan to conduct another pregnancy test on Imvune to ensure that she has not miscarried from the high amount of stress the group has been under during the last several weeks.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fresh wave of killings by hunters takes Indonesian orangutan to the brink of extinction

"Conservationists have called on the Indonesian authorities to take urgent action to save the orangutan after a report warned that the endangered great apes were being hunted at a rate that could bring them to the brink of extinction.
Erik Meijaard, who led a team carrying out the first attempt to assess the scale of the problem in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, said the results showed that between 750 and 1,800 orangutans were killed as a result of hunting and deforestation in the 12 months to April 2008."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Great day of filming around Volcanoes National Park

Yesterday, we began filming for a conservation education short to be used here in Rwanda. It was such a beautiful morning, hiking around the park and visiting with the people who live there. Lately, we've been dealing with the gorillas leaving the park and venturing into the surrounding farmland as it is bamboo season and they are drawn out of their protected forest for the tasty bamboo shoots. It can be a difficult issue to deal with when they begin to destroy crops and/or interact with livestock. We began our interviews yesterday to get a snapshot of the people's conservation perspective living around the park. I was also able to photograph a good bit between takes. Will post photos tomorrow! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Stacy Rosenbaum: A Primatologist's Journey

"On the first day of class, Stacy Rosenbaum took a seat among 100 or so other students in her primate behavior course at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. A psychology major, she had registered for the course on a whim. Professor Christopher Coe stood up and addressed the students, saying “For most of you in this room, this will be just another class. But there are one or two of you for whom this course will change your whole life...”

Rosenbaum and assistant Jean Paul Hirwa processing fecal samples in the Karisoke laboratory.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In the Wake of Nyiragongo's Eruption

On my recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the rural road we took from Goma to Rumangabo passed right by Mount Nyiragongo. The volcano last erupted in 2002 (the 34th time since 1882), smothering the surrounding landscape in molten lava. Almost 10 years later, the plant life is starting to regenerate and a white coral-like lichen covers the dark volcanic rock as far as the eye can see.  I pleaded with Jackson (my escort and protector) in my broken French to stop the car so that I could hop out and photograph. Out there away from any village or town, it feels a little bit like a wasteland - but a really beautiful one - where you're the last person left on earth.

In January, I hope to be able to climb the volcano and photograph from the crater rim down into the massive, bubbling lava lake.

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