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Cross River Gorilla


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Gorilla Population by Country 2024

Gorillas, one of the most iconic species of the African continent, are facing a dire situation with their numbers dwindling significantly, placing them on the critically endangered species list. Current estimates suggest there are only about 316,000 western gorillas and 5,000 eastern gorillas left worldwide. The primary threats to their survival include political instability, human encroachment, and environmental degradation.

There are two distinct species of gorillas in Africa, separated by nearly 600 miles of the Congo Basin forest. The mountain gorilla is found near the Virunga region, while Grauer's gorillas inhabit areas further west.

In Rwanda, over 100 gorillas live in the wild, primarily in Volcano National Park. The country offers curious visitors the opportunity to purchase gorilla licenses for trekking expeditions in the mountains. Uganda also promotes gorilla tourism, providing permits for those who meet specific requirements, including age, health status, and compliance with guidelines.

Gorilla trekking, while an incredible experience, comes with important safety considerations. While gorillas are generally nonaggressive and calm, they can become violent if disturbed. Therefore, it is strongly advised to trek with experienced guides.

In Cameroon, about 150 adult Cross River gorillas are under the protection of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF). Conservation strategies in the region include monitoring, law enforcement, ecotourism, and disease monitoring.

Gabon is home to around 35,000 lowland gorillas and central chimpanzees. However, the lowland gorillas face significant threats from unsustainable logging, commercial hunting, fishing, and oil and gas development.

The Central African Republic hosts multiple species of gorillas in its forests and swamplands. Nigeria, too, is home to the Cross River gorilla and the western lowland gorillas, with sanctuaries like Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, Mbe Mountains, and the Okwangwo division of Cross River National Park dedicated to their protection.

Interestingly, more gorillas live in captivity in the United States and Europe, or in sanctuaries, than in the wild. However, the only gorilla sanctuaries are located in Africa, highlighting the importance of preserving their natural habitat for the survival of these magnificent creatures.

  • There are two gorilla species, Gorilla gorilla (Western gorilla) and Gorilla beringei (Eastern gorilla), which are futher divided into four subspecies (listed with their global populations)
  • Gorilla gorilla gorilla - Western lowland gorilla - 95000-316000 (2016)
  • Gorilla gorilla diehi - Cross River gorilla - 250-300 (2012)
  • Gorilla beringei beringei - Mountain gorilla - 1063 (2018)
  • Gorilla beringei graueri - Eastern lowland gorilla - 3800-6800 (2021)
  • Gorilla population counts are often given as a wide range rather than a precise number, as most gorillas tend to live in remote areas cumbersome for humans to access.
  • Most sources do not separate gorilla populations by country.

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Cross River Gorilla
Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Mountain Gorilla
Western Lowland Gorilla
Central African RepublicYes
DR CongoYesYesYes
Equatorial GuineaYes
Republic of the CongoYes