Gorilla Conservation Assignment | Online Assignment


This is an academic paper with 3 parts: A written paper where you will research and make recommendations An observation and description form to be filled out by you WHILE watching the PBS documentary (2008) The Gorilla King and to be integrated into your paper (please see link below). Keep track of each 5 minute increment. A risk assessment chart on 4 different species of gorillas

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ANTH 215: Human Evolution and Archaeology

General Education Assessment

Analytical Paper Assignment: Endangered Gorillas


In this assignment you will address the ANTH 215 Course Outcome to:

Describe the major features of non-human primate behavior through observations and generate

explanations of these behaviors.


This assignment will also address four General Education Competencies:

  1. Technological
  2. Critical Analysis and Reasoning
  3. Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning
  4. Information Literacy


Over the past 50 years, certain regions in Africa have experienced industrial forestry and agricultural development that has significantly reduced the area of the natural forest. As humans develop previously isolated areas, the interaction between humans and non-human primates increases. Through these interactions human diseases can be transmitted to primates, and the likelihood of hunting or poaching can also increase.  Gorilla populations throughout Africa have been profoundly impacted. In this paper you will explore the numerous factors that are placing pressure on gorilla communities in various regions of Africa.

The purpose of this paper is for students to examine the relationship between the dwindling gorilla populations and human-Induced changes to natural habitats. Through video observations you will explore the social and biological nature of gorilla communities in Africa, particularly their patterns of communication, foraging, reproduction and group formation. Relating your data from the observations to your research on challenges and threats to gorilla communities, you will complete a risk assessment chart and develop recommendations for the conservation of gorilla habitats. Please make sure you have completed the plagiarism tutorial (from start of the semester), answer all of the questions using an essay format and complete all six tasks including the observation chart and the risk assessment chart. Consult Credo Reference or Academic Search Complete, online sources (through MC library website).

Preparing to Write Plagiarism Tutorial (You should already have done this)

In preparation for completing this assignment, each student must take the plagiarism tutorial on the Montgomery College Library Website. If you do not score 100% on the tutorial quiz, you must retake the quiz until you do score 100%. This will be part of your grade on the assignment. At the end of the tutorial you will take the quiz and include my email address. Here is the link for the tutorial:




Defining the Problem

Task 1. Present a brief overview of the geographic distribution of gorillas in Africa using background information from the websites below or other AACDEMIC SOURCES (minimum 1 paragraph).


World Wildlife Federation at http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/gorilla and http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/western-lowland-gorilla

National Geographic at http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/mountain-gorilla

Endangered Species International at http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/gorillas.html

National Zoo at https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/western-lowland-gorilla

Red List at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/39998/0


Research Review

Task 2. What are the threats and challenges to the survival of gorilla populations in the wild? Consult two articles in Academic Search Complete or other reliable databases and sources to find multiple positions about the challenges you described. Write two paragraphs from what you have learned in your sources. Your thesis statement should be included here. Make sure to critically evaluate these sources before incorporating them into your paper.  To do this, use the tutorial on evaluating information on the web: http://www.softchalkcloud.com/lesson/serve/gHCuqaifkJFQA5/html


Observations and Description

Task 3. Watch the video, ”The Gorilla King”. Please complete the observation form that is provided at the end of this assignment to record your notes. For your final submission please type in your observation notes directly on the electronic copy. Act as Jane Goodall or another field researcher making detailed notes about what you observe in the field site.

Based upon your observations from the film, describe the nature of gorillas in the wild, their social behaviors, communication, patterns of foraging, reproduction and group formation. Describe the ecological and behavioral adaptations that are very specific to gorillas that might increase their risk of extinction? Think about this, perhaps, as a “behavioral ecology” approach. (minimum length, 3 paragraphs)


Analysis and Recommendation


Task 4. While all four species of gorillas are considered to be endangered, not all gorillas in Africa are under the same level of threat. Complete the risk assessment chart below using data from the websites provided in Task 1. Note that accurate background data from each species is required. Please enter your notes directly onto the electronic copy of the chart. Note that the first row of the chart has been partially completed to show you how it should be done. In the risk assessment box, state which level of risk you believe that particular gorilla species is under; high, moderate, low, no risk?


Risk Assessment Chart: African Gorillas

Species Current Numbers Location Habitat Endangered Status Threats Risk Assessment
Mountain Gorillas 880 Rwanda, DRC, Uganda Forests, Mountains Critically Endangered    
Western Lowland Gorillas            
Cross River Gorillas            
Eastern Lowland Gorillas            


Recommendation and Conservation Plan

Task 5. Once the chart is filled out, consider existing population numbers, the type and size of the gorilla habitats, and the type of threats or challenges each species is facing. Recommend which species, in which region, should receive priority in terms of protection, conservation assistance and funding. Please support your recommendation with reasoning and facts. Describe a conservation plan with a minimum of three approaches that might work. USE THE DISCUSSION FORUM POSTS TO THINK ABOUT ALL OF THE POSSIBLE CONSERVATION STRATEGIES THERE ARE AND DECIDE WHICH YOU WOULD IMPLEMENT AS THE MOST EFFECTIVE. (minimum length, two paragraphs).


Task 6. Please write one concluding paragraph. This paragraph should incorporate the new information you have gathered from your research.


A minimum of four sources are required for this assignment. Please use MLA format for the works cited and the in-text citations. Your paper should be at least four pages in length. Works cited should be on a separate page.

Guidelines for Writing the Paper

Please type your essay in Microsoft Word in 12 pt. Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman using double spacing and indented paragraphs. Make sure you write clearly about your ideas and use all the aids that you need in Word (spell check etc). The style of the piece should be that of social science writing used in Anthropology. If you need help, tutorials exist at the web page of the MC library on Plagiarism, MLA Citations, and Doing Research. To see all of the online Library’s tutorials, visit the home page at http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/libraries/ and go to the link in the For Students box.

Here is the link to the writing center if you need further assistance with writing this assignment. https://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/EDU/Department.aspx?id=24005



ANTH215: Human Evolution and Archaeology

Primate Observation – The Gorilla King


Student Observer_____________________________  Date_____________________


Region_______________ Species Observed ________________  Observation Length – 30 minutes


Begin Time____________ End Time________________ Interval Length: 5 minutes


  1. Watch the PBS video, The Gorilla King.
  2. Record group and/or individual behaviors for every five-minute interval for a period of thirty minutes. It would be helpful to review chapter 7 of your textbook, which discusses various primate behaviors, before you begin your observation of the film.

Begin your observations at the beginning of the film. Note that fr each five-minute interval the total number of individuals observed should be recorded. For your final submission please type your notes directly onto the chart and send as part of the assignment.



Primate Observations: Written Descriptions of Group or Individual Behaviors

0-5 minutes

# of individuals being observed _____







5-10 minutes

# of individuals being observed _____





10-15 minutes

# of individuals being observed _____






15-20 minutes

# of individuals being observed _____






20-25 minutes

# of individuals being observed _____






25-30 minutes

# of individuals being observed _____






Project Task Possible Points Score Comments
Preparation – Complete Plagiarism Tutorial (100%)


Task 1 – Defining the Problem



Task 2 – Research Review




Task 3 – Observations and Description




Task 4 – Complete the Risk Assessment Chart



Task 5 – Recommendation and Conservation Plan



Task 6 – Conclusions





Presentation – MLA documentation, grammar, spelling, clear writing



TOTAL 200    


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