Saturday, November 1, 2008

Your Mobile Phone may be destroying the Habitat of the Great Apes in Africa

Did you know that your mobile phone may be responsible for the destruction of the Great Apes Habitat in Africa?

Renowned primatologist Dr Jane Goodall (pictured) has visited Melbourne Zoo to launch a new mobile phone recycling campaign aimed at protecting primates in the wild.
Dr Goodall’s lifelong study of the chimpanzees of Gombe, Nigeria has made her not only the world’s most recognised expert on the species but also their most effective advocate.

Old mobile phones donated to the Zoo’s ‘They’re Calling on You’ campaign will benefit primate conservation in two ways: financially, but even more directly by reducing demand for coltan, a mineral used in mobile phones.

Eighty percent of the world’s coltan is found in Africa. Illegal mining in areas where chimpanzees, gorillas, and other primates live has had devastating consequences.

There is loss of habitat through deforestation, and primates and other wildlife in the areas are hunted so their meat can be sold in the growing bushmeat trade. In one national park alone, more than 10,000 people are mining illegally, and the once-protected gorilla population has fallen by more than 50% in the past five years.
With about 15 million new mobile phones sold in Australia every year, there are a great many old or outmoded models available for recycling. These phones can all be put to good use if they’re donated to the ‘They’re Calling on You’ campaign.

Postage-free mailing satchels are available at Melbourne Zoo, or a post-free mailing label can be printed
Click here to hear the interview with Melbourne Zoo's, Jessica Lawry, Community Conservation Manager.

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