“Personified” - Eastern Gorilla
Acrylic on Canvas, 12" x 16" x 1.5"
Original Painting: $1,950.00
Ready-to-Hang, Limited Edition Archival Metal Print: $350.00
Time to Completion: 192 Hours
Ounces of Paint: 33
Custom sizes and materials available for prints. Inquire here.
Human Impacts Resulting in Protected Status:
Poaching & Civil Unrest:
Poaching is the result of military establishments in the deep forest, permanent natural resource exploitation research facilities, artisanal miners in remote areas, scarcity of affordable protein, and overall growing human populations.
Eastern Gorillas are easy to hunt with guns and provide large quantities of meat per kill, making them one of the most popular poaching targets. The Eastern Gorillas are also targeted for their young, fulfilling the demands of a dark international market. The parents are usually killed and consumed as a by-product of targeting the babies. The Eastern Gorilla baby orphans usually die during transport, or are seized by wildlife authorities.
For the past 20 years, refugees, internally-displaced people, and armed groups have been using the forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo illegally to harvest firewood, create farmlands, and mine. Ongoing military activity, such as rebel occupation of national parks, and political unrest help to feed other threats related to the Eastern Gorillas and their natural habitats.
In 2015, a survey revealed 69 armed groups operating within the Eastern Gorilla’s natural habitat in Northern and Southern Kivu. The presence of these groups resulted in circulation of ammunition and military weapons to traditional hunters by government soldiers and rebel militia. This resulted in an exponential growth of commercial bushmeat trade.
Habitat & Degradation:
The leading threat to the Eastern Gorilla natural habitat is In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Itombwe Massif and North Kivu, where pastoral and agricultural activities continue to grow. The Eastern Gorilla’s habitat is also under attack from the logging and charcoal industries and continuous artisanal extraction of natural resources. One of the largest Eastern Gorilla’s strongholds, the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, has been decimated due to illegal mining.
Disease & Climate Change:
Regulated tourism results in the transmission of human diseases to the Eastern Gorilla, such as respiratory viruses, human herpes simplex virus, and scabies. Some of the human-to-great ape transmissions have been fatal, with most cases resulting in habituation [getting used to or dependent upon humans].
Increased temperatures and modified rainfall levels will affect food availability and habitat quality for the Eastern Gorilla, forcing them to move into areas that are not protected, or too close to human settlements.
The Eastern Gorilla is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna; all capture, killing and consumption is illegal. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has management in place for national parks and wildlife, but reinforcing laws is difficult, due to various socio-political conflicts over the past two decades, poverty and economic insecurity. NGO’s are working to help government authorities in supporting and reinforcing protected areas and conservation programs.
Conflict is especially challenging in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, making conservation efforts heavily restricted. It is predicted that as the government stabilizes the east, the country will favor industrial expansion, large-scale agriculture, and infrastructure in order to build security and participate in the global economy. This expansion will affect forest areas that are critical to the Eastern Gorilla’s survival. Targeted conservation plans for priority sites are being developed to help curtail this devastation.
Daily Monitoring & Tourism:
Daily monitoring of habituated Eastern Gorillas helps to facilitate veterinary responses and treatments for respiratory illnesses. Daily monitoring also helps to track conservation efforts and the impacts of illegal activities, which continue in some of the Eastern Gorilla’s protected habitat locations.
Regulated tourism helps to bring awareness, conservation and fiscal support to the plight of the Eastern Gorillas.
Profits will go to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which enlists over 100 gorilla trackers to help with daily monitoring. They are collecting data in order to verify the Eastern Gorilla’s range patterns, diet, population density, and genetic diversity. This information will help to create successful conservation initiatives.
Every year, the Dian Fossey Fund works with local primary schools to provide 2,000 students and their teachers with materials, conservation education courses, and training. They also teach over 400 new African scientists about conservation, scientific methods, field research skills, and thesis supervision. The Dian Fossey Fund helps the national park staff by hosting training sessions and workshops, improving data collection techniques, and developing education materials.
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 2016
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 2017
National Geographic, 2016