The Belinga-Djoua site is situated in north-east Gabon, and is an important area for the conservation of western gorillas. Gorillas and chimpanzees were relatively common in the 1980s, but, as the site has no legal status, poaching has become an increasing problem.
One of the main threats to the area comes from mineral exploitation, with iron reserves at Belinga mined and exported by train to Libreville. It is crucial to act now to minimize negative impacts of this major development project on apes in particular and the environment in general.
It is also important to gain a better idea of the impact of Ebola in the area, and human epidemics have occurred in nearby villages and are known to have originated from handling infected ape carcasses.
Preliminary surveys have shown that apes remain, and documenting their distribution and density in this site will add to understanding of Ebola epidemics.