The mountain gorilla occurs mainly within national parks and in some areas is protected by armed guards to prevent poaching (7). Gorillas in the Virunga region have been studied and protected for many decades and are now seen as an important source of tourist revenue (8). The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has recognised the urgent need to protect our closest relatives and has established a Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP). This project is aimed at identifying the conservation initiatives required to secure the future of the apes and at obtaining political support and funding to allow these to be achieved (9). A multifaceted approach is needed to ensure the survival of one of our most impressive cousins.
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