1 Tahrcountry Musings: Snails to the Rescue of Gorillas

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Snails to the Rescue of Gorillas

Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), a subspecies of the western gorilla was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in the 1980s. Present populations are restricted to densely forested hills and mountains across the Nigeria-Cameroon border.  It is estimated that only 250-300 Cross River gorillas remains in the wild.  People living near Cross River gorillas poach them as they have no alternative sources of income and food. This makes the survival of the Gorllas very, very difficult.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has come up with a new plan to protect the Cross River gorilla, from poachers by providing locals with an alternate income from farming snails. Snails? Yes. In Nigeria, snails are a highly sought-after delicacy and can provide the wherewithal to support a family. The snails reproduce quickly and provide high protein. The upfront cost to run a snail farm is about 87 US dollars, whereas profit from 3000 snails sold annually comes to about 413 US dollars. This leaves in the hand of the snail farmer 326 US dollars a year. Poaching a gorilla for bushmeat brings in only about 70 US dollars. This is indeed a very commendable effort by WCS.
If you want to have more details about Cross River gorilla click here

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