Emergency Appeal to Save African Monkeys – Nearly 150 Lives at Risk

Mangabeys CERCOPAN appeal

Red- Capped Mangabeys at CERCOPAN

A rescue center in Nigeria that provides rehabilitation and safe haven for monkeys rescued from the bushmeat, illegal wildlife, and pet trades is urgently calling for help and has established an Emergency Fund to support the care and feeding of its 144 resident monkeys.

After many years of successfully rescuing and caring for primates in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, CERCOPAN has been severely affected by the world recession and is compelled to close down its rescue center. Financial support is urgently needed to feed and care for the monkeys, while funding is sought to implement a plan (developed with the help of an expert international task force) that aims to: 1) phase out CERCOPAN’s main rescue facility, and 2) implement a conservation programme to release some monkey species into a protected forest in Cross River State.

CERCOPAN has taken key steps to reduce expenditures to ensure that all money is directed to the critical needs of primate care. The organization is also seeking to manage the forest site and primate reintroduction program.

Donations  to  the  Emergency  Fund can  now  be  made  online  by  visiting any of these Internet sites:

http://www.everyclick.com/cercopan/info (also has GiftAid for UK donations)

http://www.humanewildlife.org/cercopan.html (provides receipt for U.S. tax records)

http://cercopan.wildlifedirect.org

https://www.justgiving.com/cercopan/donate

Donations can also be made via cash or check, through the contacts listed below.

Donations are crucial to save the lives of these 144 beautiful and threatened monkeys.

Contact in Europe time zone:

Zena Tooze

[email protected]

[email protected]

+44-777-610-1492

Contact in Australia time zone:

Claire Coulson

[email protected]

[email protected]

+61-469-374-338

About CERCOPAN:

For 20 years, CERCOPAN has operated an environmental conservation programme focused on the forests and primates of Cross River State, Nigeria. Throughout this time, CERCOPAN has partnered with other environmental charities, village communities, and the Cross River State Government.

For much of the past 20 years, the organization provided the only formal environmental education programme within Cross River State and reached more than 20,000 individuals a year, with a particular emphasis on school children and university students. The conservation messages in this programme emphasized preservation of the forests of southeast Nigeria for its people and its primate fauna.

For 14 years, CERCOPAN has partnered with the community of Iko Esai to protect 20,000 ha of forest from logging and primate hunting. Sustainable forest management practices, community development projects, a purpose-built community centre, eco-tourism, and employment of local village residents comprise some of the benefits to Iko Esai. In 2010, two neighbouring communities signed conservation by-laws, expanding the protected forest area to 30,000 contiguous hectares.

In 2008, together with partner NGOs, CERCOPAN advised and encouraged the State Government to prioritise environmental conservation within Cross River, and it responded with a state-wide logging ban, actively enforced since its inception.

Since 2009, CERCOPAN has partnered with the Cross River State Forestry Commission to help bring Nigeria through the Observer and Partnering stages of the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) programme. Planning (with UN funding) is now underway for a pilot implementation within the communities centred on Iko Esai.

Finally, CERCOPAN has several threatened species in its care, including red-eared monkeys (Cercopithecus erythrotis), the only group of captive Sclater’s monkeys (Cercopithecus sclateri) in the world, and the largest group of red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus) globally.

About primates:

Primates (monkeys, apes, and prosimians) are intelligent and socially complex animals, but tragically 50% are threatened with extinction due to human activities. Non-human primates are an integral part of the ecosystems in which they live and are sometimes called the “gardeners of the forest,” as the health of their habitats depend on the presence of healthy primate populations. In turn, these same forests help regulate our global climate, and hence humans are also dependent on these threatened animals.

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