You can help us monitor and protect critically endangered western lowland gorillas which have been reintroduced back to the wild. Tracking the post-release progress of gorillas as they adjust to their new surroundings is crucial. The vast forest area of the reserve cannot be monitored successfully without the additional observations afforded by the use of camera traps, and many sightings would go unnoticed if they were not caught on camera.
Researching other key species is also vital to our work. It enables us to determine the health of the region, is useful when making decisions regarding potential future reintroductions, and provides invaluable data about specific fauna. With your support we can increase the number of cameras operational throughout the Batéké Plateau National Park.
Who are we?
We are a wildlife conservation charity established in 1984 working in the UK and around the world to halt the extinction of rare and endangered species in the wild and, wherever possible, reintroducing animals back to their natural habitat. We have extensive projects in Africa, Madagascar and Java, as well as working alongside other conservation organisations across the world.
Our work in Gabon
Since 1997 we have worked in the Batéké Plateau National Park to reintroduce both wild-born orphans, and captive bred gorillas back to a life in the wild.
Our Gorilla Reintroduction Project aims to re-establish viable, self-sustaining populations of the western lowland gorilla in the region. As a keystone species the process not only protects the critically endangered gorilla, but also leads to the creation of a healthy ecosystem capable of supporting a myriad of flora and fauna once endemic in the area.
By using photo and video recordings, not only can we gauge the health of the gorillas, but also monitor the inter-action between them and identify new births within family groups. For these animals to live effectively in the wild, human contact, and the stress it can cause, must be kept to a minimum. Camera traps allow us to monitor progress without direct intervention.
Their value is not limited to gorillas, and sightings of other species provide valuable data to allow an assessment of the biodiversity of the region. Since our Gorilla Reintroduction Project has provided protection to the area as a whole there has been an increase in the number of animals being seen. Camera trap images, such as this forest elephant, support our belief that megafauna are slowly returning to the area.
And sometimes we are surprised by an image the cameras capture. It might be something exciting like the first sighting of a lion in Gabon in more than twenty years. This young, well-nourished and healthy-looking male was filmed ambling along an elephant path near a small stream within the unique savannah ecosystem of the Batéké Plateau.The cameras were placed and are maintained by the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology’s Pan African Programme and Panthera, working with The Aspinall Foundation as part of a chimpanzee survey in the area.
But occasionally the news is less welcome, such as the images of these poachers who have passed through the reserve - although being caught on camera can certainly act as an additional deterrent.
Why do we need more camera traps?
We need to increase the number of camera traps located across the reserve. By placing a suite of camera traps in strategic locations throughout the gorillas’ home ranges, we are able to track the groups as they move throughout the forest. The video footage and photos provided are so valuable they are a fundamental tool for the Gorilla Reintroduction Project.
Not only do we want to extend the coverage, but both the constant humidity, and inquisitive nature of the wildlife, also means existing cameras have a limited lifespan. Protective casings and water-absorbing crystals help extend the viability of the cameras but inevitably the environment is damaging to electronic devices thereby necessitating regular ongoing replacement.
How you can help
By donating to this appeal you will be making it possible for us to purchase more camera traps. The money you give will be used exclusively for this purpose and you will be directly supporting our work in Gabon.
We have a number of exclusive rewards featuring some amazing camera trap images, tickets to our parks in Kent, and updates on what is happening in Gabon. We even have two special one-to-one photo
opportunities with a professional photographer to capture your own images of the animals we care for in Kent. We hope you will enjoy our unique way of saying thank you. Our rewards range from £5 to £500.
And you can help in others ways too, by spreading the word about our crowdfunding project to friends, family, and work colleagues. Whether it is through word of mouth, twitter, facebook, or instagram – please help by telling as many people as you can. And don’t forget to check back every so often as we will be releasing more updates and video footage throughout the month.
Thank You…We really appreciate your support and please enjoy the rewards we have to offer. Your donation will make a real difference.