By Erica Bulman THE ASSOCIATED PRESS GENEVA – The most common type of gorilla is now “critically endangered,” one step away from global extinction, according to the 2007 Red List of Threatened Species released Wednesday by the World Conservation Union. The Ebola virus is depleting western gorilla populations to a point where it might become impossible for them to recover. Commercial hunting, civil unrest and habitat loss due to logging and forest clearance for palm oil plantations are compounding the problem, said the Swiss-based group known by its acronym IUCN. “Great apes are our closest living relatives and very special creatures,” said Russ Mittermeier, head of IUCN’s Primate Specialist Group. “We could fit all the remaining great apes in the world into two or three large football stadiums. There just aren’t very many left.” In all, 16,306 species are threatened with extinction, 188 more than last year, IUCN said. A quarter of mammals are in jeopardy, as are one-eighth of birds, a third of all amphibians and seven-tenths percent of the plants that have been studied. “Life on Earth is disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless urgent action is taken,” the IUCN warned. The western gorilla’s main subspecies – the western lowland gorilla – has been decimated by the Ebola virus, which has wiped out about a third of the gorillas found in protected areas over the past 15 years. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Johnson, who was blind and living alone until his 110th birthday when a caregiver began helping him, built the Richmond house by hand in 1935. He got around using a walker in recent years. Johnson was the only living Californian considered a “supercentenarian,” a designation for those ages 110 or older, Coles said. His group is now in the process of validating a Los Angeles candidate who claims to be 112 years old. Coles participated in an autopsy Thursday that was designed to study Johnson’s health. “All of his organs were extremely youthful. They could have been the organs of someone who was 50 or 60, not 112. Clearly his genes had some secrets,” Coles said. “Everything in his body that we looked at was clean as a whistle,” Coles said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – George Johnson, considered California’s oldest living person at 112 and the state’s last surviving World War I veteran, had experts shaking their heads over his junk food diet. “He had terrible bad habits. He had a diet largely of sausages and waffles,” Dr. L. Stephen Coles, founder of the Gerontology Research Group at the University of California, Los Angeles, said Friday. The 5-foot-7, 140-pound Johnson died of pneumonia Wednesday at his Richmond home in Northern California. “A lot of people think or imagine that your good habits and bad habits contribute to your longevity,” Coles said. “But we often find it is in the genes rather than lifestyle.”