Patterico's Pontifications

8/5/2008

125,000 “Endangered” Gorillas Found. Scientist: But They Still May Be Endangered

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 4:03 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Wildlife researchers found 125,000 low-land gorillas currently listed as endangered living deep in the forests of the Republic of Congo. This increases the estimated number of low-land gorillas to around 200,000.

Nevertheless, Emma Stokes, a member of the research team from The Wildlife Conservation Society based at New York’s Bronx Zoo, worries that these gorillas are still endangered:

“While calling the new census important, Stokes said it does not mean gorilla numbers in the wild are now safe.

“Far from being safe, the gorillas are still under threat from Ebola and hunting for bush meat. We must not become complacent about this. Ebola can wipe out thousands in a short period of time,” she said.”

Conservationists also warn that we cannot let this good news distract us from protecting other animals who are increasingly endangered by biofuel-related deforestation:

“There is a danger that we concentrate on the more famous species,” Oates said. “What about the other species that we’ve identified as in danger? There are so many that are on the brink of extinction.”

Among them is the highland gibbon, which counts just 19 known individuals. The review warned it will be tough battle to save that Asian primate from extinction.

Simon Stuart, with Conservation International, which provided data for the review, said primate populations are shrinking in Asia due to hunting and habitat destruction – some linked to the booming biofuel industry.

“In Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo the big problem is destruction of forests to make way for palm oil and biofuels. Ironically, with biofuels, something that is nominally associated with helping the environment can have harmful unintentional consequences,” Stuart said.”

It sounds like the biggest threat to some species comes from environmentalists.

— DRJ

28 Responses to “125,000 “Endangered” Gorillas Found. Scientist: But They Still May Be Endangered”

  1. “Far from being safe, the gorillas are still under threat from Ebola and hunting for bush meat. We must not become complacent about this.”

    Funny, I’ve been complacent about gorillas for a long time, and everything seems to have worked out just fine. I don’t intend to mess with a proven policy.

    Cicero (8db983)

  2. Is it possible that these environmentalists who you say caused unintentional harm to species in Malaysia by destructing forests to make way for bio fuels, were also choosing our species (Homo Sapiens) over all others?

    Perhaps the biggest threat to our species is people who try to undermine environmentalists with a piece like this one.

    Oiram (983921)

  3. Like me?

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  4. Has there ever been an environmentalist that has said, “Hey, we’re doing just fine, and we can close down this group and quit raising funds. Hey, who’s got the Help Wanted ads?”

    No, because once they have chosen that kind of job, their whole paycheck depends on scaring the general public about how terrible the ecology is and how much (taxpayer-funded) money is needed to keep the poor little spotted owls safe…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  5. Well, if the shoe fits DRJ…..

    But if it helps, I don’t think your doing it intentionally.

    I disagree with 99.99 percent of the comments here at Patterico, but I know 100% of the commenter’s are well meaning and only have good intentions for mankind and The U.S.A.

    I hope that the feeling is mutual.

    Oiram (983921)

  6. Oiram,

    I don’t own a biofuels-powered car or get any of my energy from biofuels. I don’t eat gorilla meat or own any products made from gorillas, and I haven’t been to a zoo in years. And the low-land gorillas who have survived in the greatest numbers are the ones who were previously unknown to researchers and environmentalists.

    So of these two choices – environmentalists/researchers or people like me who write about them – who is the greater threat to gorillas?

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  7. For once your right Drum #4. No that’s probably not going to happen.
    A perfect environment worthy of shutting down the cause is as distant as a peaceful world shutting down the military.

    Think About It.

    Oiram (983921)

  8. Well DRJ, if you write about environmentalists with the tone you used in this post, and enough people here listen and give it justice, then you are the greater threat.

    Now just imagine if Environmentalists are right and you do have an impact with what you write here.

    Sure your not doing direct harm to Gorillas. Even a Gorilla knows that.

    Peace All

    Oiram (983921)

  9. No one is trying to shut down all environmentalist groups anymore than nations are going to disband their militaries. But we do pull military presence from regions when it is no longer needed. Do environmentalists?

    Think About It.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  10. Well DRJ, if you write about environmentalists with the tone you used in this post, and enough people here listen and give it justice, then you are the greater threat.

    Now just imagine if Environmentalists are right and you do have an impact with what you write here.

    Devoted Patterico readers are getting their torches, pitchforks and maps to Jane Goodall’s treehouse as we speak.

    Cicero (8db983)

  11. A perfect environment worthy of shutting down the cause is as distant as a peaceful world shutting down the military.

    Think About It.

    I have. I have come to the fully-cogitated conclusion that you are, as usual, making no sense whatsoever, as DRJ so ably points out.

    Now just imagine if Environmentalists are right

    Why should this unproven assumption be the point at which you start? Shouldn’t this be what you are trying to prove, against the evidence presented here that environmentalists have been wrong for years without even knowing why?

    This is called “begging the question”, just in case you are interested.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  12. Oiram #8,

    You give me too much credit but if this post is all it takes to stop Bronx Zoo researchers from wasting time and money on species that are not endangered, so be it.

    Environmentalists and researchers like this are prone to hysterical end-of-the-world pronouncements over every problem. Instead of dramatizing every problem, they would do far better to focus on reasonable and efficient allocations of time, money, and effort. If they did that, they would have near universal support for their mission.

    But when they cry “Wolf!” over every problem no matter how shallow, they invite “tone” like mine.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  13. Wildlife researchers found 125,000 low-land gorillas currently listed as endangered living deep in the forests of the Republic of Congo. This increases the estimated number of low-land gorillas to around 200,000.

    In case you missed this point, the population went from approximately 75,000 to 200,000.

    Almost triple the earlier population (267%), and that isn’t enough to embarrass the watermelons* to silence…

    * – Green on the outside, red on the inside.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  14. Oiram is hilarious. The refrain of “don’t tell the truth, that will hurt the cause” is getting awful common among liberals.

    The reality is that a lot of environmentalism is becoming misguided and often counterproductive. Within this country, the Endangered Species Act is a disaster, with almost no successes to its credit – largely because it has become counterproductive in its application.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  15. Food animals are the animals in least danger of extinction. If we want to save the gorillas, we should let people know that they are good to eat. In a few years, there will be ranchfulls of them.

    nk (e38352)

  16. Okay, now that was funny.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  17. The reality is that a lot of environmentalism is becoming misguided and often counterproductive.

    My favorite — perhaps apocryphal — example was the German law that required special disposal of radioactive waste at levels lower than that naturally present in the human body.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  18. Mine was when Clinton signed an Executive Order just days before Bush took over that would have required the removal of arsenic from the water supply to levels lower than any ever found in nature.

    And then the environmentalists accused Bush of trying to poison everyone when he returned the requirements to what they had been for seven years.

    If he had let it stand, our drinking water would be going at rates similar to a Starbucks latte. And water companies everywhere would have to worry about what they were going to do with all the arsenic they were rapidly accumulating.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  19. “…the Endangered Species Act is a disaster…”

    Just stand back and watch the economic upheaval that will occurr as we debate the listing, and its’ effect, of Polarbears as “threatened”.
    The enviros intend to use that hook to shut down any and all developement. Just today, the State of Alaska has filed suit over that listing, contending that it will shut-down virtually all of the energy projects in the state.

    The only fragile bio-form that will never be listed as threatened or endangered is man.

    Another Drew (ab2eae)

  20. I was just watching CNN and a commercial came on with a very earnest actress, Sharon Lawrence, who looked me dead in the eye and began to relate to me the plight of the soon to be very endangered polar bears because of global warming. She spoke with great feeling and even paused so we could both wipe our eyes because as the camera cut from her to a melting iceberg, there, in the middle of a sea where just 5 years ago was one solid massive piece of ice, was now sadly just a small chunk of ice with an adult polar bear (that I assumed was mama) and a cub. Stranded. Alone. And so very sad. On a block of ice. Endangered, lonely, needing OUR help.

    And this is precisely what is meant by the enviros and conservationists making these end-of- the-world pronouncements (or end of the iceberg…). It quickly becomes an all or nothing proposition, and reasonableness gets lost in the *emotion*.

    I’m all for saving as many animals on the planet that we reasonably can. God gave them to us to enjoy and to benefit from. They are a gift like any other. But as with everything, there is a balance. I’m thrilled there are 125,000 lowland guerillas who have been successfully thriving all on their own. And hopefully, if conservationists and the enviros can keep their paws off, perhaps they will continue to thrive even more.

    Dana (254946)

  21. Oiram,

    I’ll try to change my tone for this comment. Let’s assume we don’t have enough information to know if these gorillas or any species is endangered. What do we do? The first step is to evaluate whether it matters if species disappear. I believe in evolution and if you do, too, then species have been appearing and disappearing since the dawn of life. Do we really think humans can do a better job than evolution?

    I don’t think we can because the process is too complicated for us to successfully meddle with. Nevertheless, most of us are willing to intervene when it comes to preserving appealing or beneficial species, and I accept that. Science is mankind’s method to understand and manipulate nature, and I like gorillas and polar bears and cute little seals as much as the next person. But I disagree with the notion that there should be no limit on how far we will go to save a species.

    It’s no different than saying there should be no limits on how far we go to save one person or group of people. The fact is life is all about limits: We only have so much time, money, and energy and there are a lot of needs in the world. The key to mature decision-making is to evaluate the best use of our time, money and energies and spend them where they matter most. If you think preserving species (whether or not they are endangered) is the best use of our time, money, and energies, I respectfully disagree.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  22. Oiram – Why do you propose that as a starting point, we assume that the environmentalists are right?

    DRJ – Great post, as always.

    I would be remiss if I failed to note that it is inherently racist to talk about monkeys, gorillas, etc. The code words are not even subtle.

    JD (5f0e11)

  23. Rob Crawford, actually I’ve seen an actual example of a state environmental agency requiring cleanup of soils to levels of asbestos below that were naturally present.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  24. Just another group with nothing to do, and no brain to do it with, saving something that doesn’t need saved. When will it become legal to shoot these fools? Now they will go into the jungle in force and disrupt the lives of the Gorillas and pass deadly diseases to them and require them to saved for real.

    Peeeloshi is going to save the planet. God better get out of the stupid POS’s way. Is she a member of this group?

    The democrats (yes they are democrats) are definetly living in Edwards second country/world, far out past fantasy land.

    Scrapiron (c36902)

  25. #13, Drumwaster-thanks for pointing out what seemed to be missing from the researcher’s facts: that an “endangered” species population was actually three times larger than the researchers’ knew the day before this discovery.

    Of course, she immediately tried to tell us that this species was even more endangered now….I guess because we found them, and since we know where they are, we’ll do something now to lower the numbers or something….

    reff (b68a4f)

  26. Great post DRJ, I agree completely.

    The Dodo bird went extinct without any help from mankind and with no SUVs. Pandas are beautiful, but pandas don’t reproduce well even in the wild. Perhaps it’s their time as well. It’s not necessarily because “humans are taking over their natural habitat”…

    Spotted owls that the enviros told us were dying because of the logging industry are still dying off even though logging’s been drastically reduced and many people have lost their jobs and livelihoods. The spotted owls are being eaten by the Great Horned Owls that live in the same forests.

    kimsch (2ce939)

  27. Call me crazy, but if I found a previously unknown (or little-known) population of a troubled species that hunters are eager to find, I would not publicly announce their location. But that’s just me.

    Justin (747191)

  28. None of you are getting the truth. The truth is that humanity itself is basically a higher form of cancer. Just as cells mutate upon being exposed to carcinogens, making them useless to the body, so have we, as a species, evolved to the point that we are steadily becoming useless to the ‘body’ that is Earth and its Ecosystems. We’re no longer part of the Primary-Secondary-Tertiary Consumer chain; if anything, we’ve established a new system where we’re the only Consumers and everything else is a producer.

    And just as cancerous cells form tumours, harming the cells of other organs that help the body function, so has humanity steadily grown and progressed to the point that we are poisoning the other ‘organs’ of the ‘body’ – endangered animals and plants. Just as tumours feed off the body’s resources, so are we consuming too much food that is needed for others. Just as tumours travel around the bloodstream to infect elsewhere, so are we continually finding new ways to completely fuck-up our world.

    It’s a bleak, horrible way to look at our lives – but it’s the truth. From a cosmic perspective, we’re a horrible disease, and the best thing that could happen for the benefit of everything else would be for us to suffer a mass extinction – or, better yet, completely lose the ‘human spirit’ and higher intelligence that has allowed us to reach the position we’re in now.

    I’m not saying this is what should happen. I don’t think we should run from our computers and start killing people. I’m just saying that this is a problem that needs thinking about. Basically? Humans are, right now, malignant tumours. We need to make them benign.

    Jimbob (c98a60)


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