PCWS Press Release
Release Date: January 3 2000
Contact: Hope Walker, President The Primate Conservation and Welfare Society (1-888-595-PCWS)
Conservation Groups Target U.S. Timber Companies to End Illegal Hunting of Africa's Great Apes
PORT TOWNSEND, WA - In an effort to inform U.S. consumers about how certain
domestic companies promote illegal hunting of great apes in Africa, The Primate Conservation
and Welfare Society (PCWS) along with the Rainforest Action Network is launching a major
A recent report issued by Rainforest Action Network states that many of the African hardwoods
imported into the U.S. are logged and imported by U.S. companies. "When fighting to save
endangered species," said PCWS founder and President Hope Walker, "it is all too easy to blame
the lax conservation practices of certain African countries. But it is actually the practices
of Western-based timber companies - some even in Washington State - that are accelerating
the demise of Africa's great apes.".
PCWS, in cooperation with several other organizations, has developed a poster and action kit
aimed at educating citizens on the plight of Africa's great apes. The Action Kit provides
background information on the hunting and killing of primates and the destruction of their
habitat, and also provides the names and addresses of U.S. timber companies active in
African rainforests, with information on joining a letter-writing campaign.
"It is no exaggeration that within our children's lifetimes, there may be no wild
populations of chimpanzees or gorillas left," said RAN's Africa campaign director Erick
Brownstein. "We must demand that US based companies stop selling tropical wood ripped
from the heart of the rainforests. By doing so, we will help insure the protection of
Africa's last old growth forests, home to the threatened great apes."
Proceeds from the sale of the poster, rich with images of gorillas and
chimpanzees taken by world-famous photographers, will benefit primate conservation
organizations whose works focuses on ending the "bushmeat" trade.
Bushmeat hunting, or the killing of endangered species for human consumption, has
been practiced on a subsistence level by forest-dwelling peoples for centuries. But
the influx of loggers into the rainforest, and increased access to remote forest
areas via logging roads, has transformed bushmeat hunting into a commercial venture.
This poses a serious threat to the survival of Africa's great apes, can be traced
directly to activities of the logging companies.