(GORILLAS/WILDLIFE) While most crowdfunding campaigns benefit the people asking for money directly, famed broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenboroug is asking his supporters to raise money for critically endangered African mountain gorillas.

The award-winning narrator of BBC’s Planet Earth has taken to Indiegogo.com to garner funds for Fauna & Flora International, one of the world’s oldest conservation societies. All of the money raised will help protect gorillas from poachers and habitat loss, build water tanks for the animals, and provide rations for the animal caretakers.

David Attenborough and a pair of African mountain gorillas on the set of his documentary, Life on Earth.
A longtime supporter of mountain gorillas, David Attenborough has started a campaign on Indiegogo to further protect the animals. Photo Credit: Life on Earth

The campaign’s mission statement stresses the importance of communal support. It reads: “If we are to ensure the survival of mountain gorillas, it is vital that the global community supports our efforts.”

Attenborough shares why he remains passionate about preserving wildlife on the campaign’s Indiegogo page:  

“I first went to film mountain gorillas in Rwanda in 1978 for the BBC’s Life on Earth television series. Spending time with these gentle creatures in their natural habitat was a profoundly moving experience. It was abundantly clear, however, that a lethal cocktail of threats including poaching, human encroachment and habitat loss was driving these magnificent, gentle creatures to the very brink of extinction.

I was so deeply concerned by the plight of the mountain gorillas that I came to Fauna & Flora International (FFI) for urgent discussions about how we could prevent them from disappearing for ever. With only around 250 mountain gorillas remaining in the Virungas Massif at this time, we knew we had to move fast.

FFI brought together a group of conservation partners who,alongside the communities that live closest to the gorillas, have worked tirelessly to protect them and the forests they inhabit ever since.

Thanks to this collaborative approach their population is steadily rising and today there are around 880 mountain gorillas in the wild. But these extraordinary animals are still Critically Endangered and there is much left to do if we are to ensure their long-term survival.

By supporting this campaign and promoting it through your networks, you will not only be helping to secure a future for mountain gorillas, but also the tens of thousands of Rwandan, Ugandan and Congolese people who have come to depend upon them for their livelihoods and wellbeing.

Attenborough’s goal is to reach £110,000 (a little over $170,000), and donors will receive an array of unique gifts depending on the generosity of their contributions.

The campaign will run until December 11, 2013. Gorilla preservation is a great cause, and the endangered animals can use all the help we can give them.

— Anthony Armentano, exclusive to Global Animal