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Silverbacks and greenbacks: the catch-22 at the heart of gorilla conservation

Newsome, D. (2015) Silverbacks and greenbacks: the catch-22 at the heart of gorilla conservation. The Conversation, 3 September 2015 .

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Back in 1979, an estimated 500 million television viewers watched a landmark moment in natural history documentaries, as David Attenborough sat with mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Attenborough said at the time:

"There is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than with any other animal I know."

The gorillas that Attenborough met were habituated for research purposes, and since then many gorilla groups have been habituated purely for tourism. As a result, thousands of tourists have now visited Rwanda and Uganda’s wild mountain gorillas and, to a lesser extent, the lowland gorillas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Gabon.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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