Posted on 24th September 2018 by Media Relations
Gorillas are the largest and most powerful of all primates. They are also one of our closest living relatives – we share 98 per cent of our DNA. But all four subspecies are now critically endangered. Their habitat is threatened by habitat destruction caused by mining for conflict minerals that end up in mobile phones.
Minerals and ores such as coltan – short for columbite tantalite – are in huge demand in today’s technology industries. Mined in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa, these metals are used in the creation of devices such as smartphones and sold all around the world.
Sadly, unregulated mining in Africa has taken its toll on local wildlife including critically endangered Grauer’s Gorillas. By opening up previously untouched wilderness to human exploitation, mining results in habitat destruction and wildlife poaching, with workers sometimes forced into the forest to hunt for food.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the richest deposits of coltan and is the world’s largest supplier of cobalt. We want to extend the life of the metals that have already been extracted for use in technology and reduce the demand for yet further mining of Grauer’s Gorilla habitat.
Want to help us help wild gorillas?
Bring your old phone to Taronga to be recycled, or collect 10 to be picked up by a free courier. By doing so you will not only be diverting these phone from landfill and reducing the demand for further mining, but all of the money raised supports the The Jane Goodall Institute Australia's essential primate conservation in central Africa. You will also be joining several of Taronga’s Corporate partners who have today pledged their support.
For more information, visit Act for the Wild.