Monday, February 08, 2010

Conservation Priorities: Mountain Gorillas

Conservation biologists groan when charismatic megafauna are the face of conservation. Everyone wants to save the panda and the polar bear, but from a biological point of view, endangered grasses and fungi can be just as important.

Still, there can be no doubt that humans share something special with other primates.

In this wonderful story in support of wildlife conservation in Congo, Jeremy Bernstein tells of a magical experience seeing mountain gorillas in the wild:

We moved on and found ourselves in a small cluster of gorillas. The young ones rushed around and brushed up against us. Their mothers watched cautiously. And then something happened that continues to haunt me. There was a mother with a baby. We stopped to look and she held it up for us to see.

How can there be any doubt that these other primates are worth any cost to save them, as individuals and as a species?

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