SpeciesWestern Gorillas

Western Gorillas

  • Distribution of the western gorillas (© Angela Meder)

Western gorillas generally have a shorter and lighter pelage than eastern gorillas. There are two subspecies: western lowland gorillas and Cross River gorillas. Zoo gorillas are almost exclusively western gorillas.

One of the Biggest Ape Traffickers of Africa Arrested

July 2017

Abdourahamane Sidibé, a major wildlife trafficker of Guinean nationality, was arrested on 18 February 2017 in Conakry in a special operation by...[details]

A Brief Update on the Proposed Superhighway in Cross River State

July 2017

In March 2016 the Federal Ministry of the Environment issued Cross River State a stop work order pending approval of an environmental impact...[details]

Survey of the Cross River Gorilla at the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Cameroon

July 2017

In January 2014 I started to study the ecology of Cross River gorillas at the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS) in collaboration with the local...[details]

First Twins Born to Habituated Western Lowland Gorillas

January 2017

At the end of January 2016 the Dzanga-Sangha Protected Areas complex in the Central African Republic recorded the first ever western lowland gorilla...[details]

The "Walk through the Dja"

January 2017

The conservation action plan for western lowland gorillas and central chimpanzees identifies 18 priority landscapes (IUCN 2014). One of them is the...[details]

Gorilla Habituation for Research and Tourism in Loango

January 2017

Two components of gorilla conservation are research and tourism. Research provides the baseline information concerning the natural ecological and...[details]

On a Road to Nowhere?

January 2017

After 16 years of continuous rule under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and record levels of corruption and mismanagement, Nigeria elected a new...[details]

Seed Dispersal by Western Lowland Gorillas: from Fruits to Seedlings

July 2016

African tropical rainforests, the second most important biodiversity refuge after the Amazonian basin, host a multitude of plant species. The...[details]

Improving Law Enforcement Monitoring in the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary

July 2016

The Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS) in Nigeria is the western-most Cross River gorilla site and home to about 10 % of the total Cross...[details]

Clean Water for Cross River Conservation; Rangers on the Frontlines

July 2016

In a previous article, we documented bushmeat trafficking out of West/Central Africa for sale in underground markets in Europe and North America....[details]

African Tropical Forests Are under Stress

January 2016

Tropical deforestation is well known to have serious negative consequences for biodiversity, terrestrial carbon sinks and the balance of atmospheric...[details]

Gorilla Folk Filmmaking in the Cross River Headwaters

January 2016

In the Lebialem highlands of Southwest Cameroon, people say that if a hunter kills a gorilla, a person (often a village notable) dies. Connected by a...[details]

Going the "SMART" Way in Nigeria and Cameroon

January 2016

The Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) is new and improved software for measuring, evaluating and improving the effectiveness of wildlife...[details]

Videos with and about Cross River Gorillas

August 2015

Rare Footage of Cross River Gorillas Captured by the Wildlife Conservation Society The Wildlife Conservation Society set up camera traps in the...[details]

Using Remote Video Camera Traps for Multi-Species Assessments in Gabon

July 2015

Camera trap (© Josephine Head)

Accurate population assessments of endangered species are of great importance for determining conservation priorities and measuring the success of...[details]

Community-led Conservation Action in the Ebo Forest, Cameroon

July 2015

ACTRIFE family photo after the general assembly at Douala

The Ebo forest in Littoral Region, Cameroon harbours a rich biodiversity of primates, including gorillas and chimpanzees. The government of Cameroon...[details]

Update: Conflict in the Central African Republic

December 2014

The Dzanga-Sangha Protected Areas (DSPA), located in the southwestern Central African Republic (CAR) and the northern edge of the Congo basin, is...[details]

Gorilla Group Formation and Dynamics

December 2014

Gorillas spend the major part of their life in small social groups led by a mature silverback male. Only young blackback males and mature silverback...[details]

Ebola Reduces Bushmeat Consumption

December 2014

Bushmeat traders in Watt Market in Calabar, Cross River State, South Eastern Nigeria, are lamenting the poor sales of bushmeat since the outbreak of...[details]

Using Technology in the Mbe Mountains

June 2014

The Mbe Mountains form part of an important habitat corridor linking Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary to the Okwangwo Division of Cross River National...[details]

First donation by ajoofa

February 2014

Handing over of the check at ajoofa in Ulm (© ajoofa)

On February 6th, 2014, we received the first donation by the T-shirt company ajoofa. Marcus Handvest handed over a symbolic check with the donation...[details]

Geriatric Gorillas

January 2014

Colo (© Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)

December 22, 1956, was a historic day for the zoological world as we welcomed the first successful zoo gorilla birth - a female, eventually...[details]

Can the Mayombe Forest be Saved?

November 2013

The Mayombe forest ("Maiombe" in Angola. "Mayombe" in Congo and DRC, and as agreed in the transfrontier context, and...[details]

Bushmeat Hunting Changes African Rainforests

January 2014

Hunting often devastates populations of large mammals, and this may have impact on other animal and plant communities. In two recent studies (Effiom...[details]

Landslides Hit Afi Sanctuary

January 2014

The Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS) occupies approximately 100 km² in the north-western area of the Afi River Forest Reserve in the northern...[details]

Park Protects Swamp Dwelling Gorillas

July 2013

Swampy forest with Marantaceae

In 2000, WCS Senior Conservationist, and National Geographic explorer, Mike Fay set off on his now famous MegaTransect through the forests of Central...[details]

Gorillas in the Dimonika Biosphere Reserve

July 2013

Approaching the Dimonika Biosphere Reserve

Designated in 1988 under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program, Dimonika Biosphere Reserve is located in the central Mayombe Mountain chain in the...[details]

Cameroon Loses a Cross River Gorilla

July 2013

On March 1, 2013, the Cameroon conservation community was taken aback when news reached them about the brutal killing of a silverback male of the...[details]

Renovation of Afi Sanctuary Headquarters

February 2013

The Headquarter before renovation (© WCS Nigeria)

We transferred the first funds for project support in 2013: Andrew Dunn, our partner at WCS Nigeria, had asked us to fund the renovation of the Afi...[details]

Guide Refresher Training at Bai Hokou and Mongambe

January 2013

The Primate Habituation Programme (PHP) in the Central African Republic is an integral part of the conservation activities of Dzanga-Sangha Protected...[details]

Orphan Gorilla Confiscation in Equatorial Guinea

January 2013

Equatorial Guinea is experiencing a dramatic oil-fuelled economic boom which over the last decade has in­creased incomes, encouraged urban migration...[details]

The Bambidie Gorillas

January 2013

Female and offspring in the bai

The Bambidie Gorilla Project (BGP), founded in 2008, aims to preserve a population of western lowland go­ril­las, between the villages of...[details]

Gorilla Guardian Update

January 2013

Takpe chief receiving WCS in the community (© WCS/Takamanda-Mone Landscape Project)

The Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) is Critically Endangered, with perhaps fewer than 250 individuals remaining within their range,...[details]

New Gorilla Guardians in Cameroon

July 2012

Potential gorilla guardians (© Amelia Stott, WCS Takamanda-Mone Landscape Project)

The Cross River gorillas in Cameroon need our help again! We received a request from Christopher Jameson, the Director of the WCS project for the...[details]

Club des Amis des Gorilles

July 2012

His Majesty the Paramount Chief of Ndokbiakat (the Ebo region) addressing delegates at the first Ebo Chief’s meeting, in June 2011 (© ZSSD/Abwe Abwe)

An isolated population of gorillas lives in the Ebo forest, Cameroon, between the Cross River gorillas and the western lowland gorillas south of the...[details]

Action Plan for Cross River Gorillas

July 2012

Cross River gorilla Action Plan workshop session (© Sean Southey)

In 2007 IUCN published a five-year (2007–2011) regional Action Plan for the conservation of the Cross River gorilla Gorilla gorilla diehli (Oates et...[details]

Transboundary Collaboration in Mayombe

July 2012

The Mayombe area

The Mayombe forest, part of the Guineo-Congolian biome, forms the south-western part of the tropical rainforest in the Congo Basin, and the southern...[details]

Cross River Gorilla Video

May 2012

The Wildlife Conservation Society caught a group of Cross River gorillas on video for the first time - in the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, Cameroon. »...[details]

Ebo: Clubs des Amis des Gorilles

April 2012

Near the Ebo forest, Bethan Morgan and Ekwoge Enang Abwe are starting to develop “Clubs des Amis des Gorilles” in each of the villages closest to the...[details]

Feeding Ecology of Sympatric Apes

January 2012

A silverback gorilla looking for fruits in Loango (© Josephine Head)

Examining dietary composition and overlap between species living within the same environment is important for improving our understanding of their...[details]

Wildlife Trafficking in Gabon

July 2011

Chimpanzee and gorilla hands confiscated during the operation in January 2011 (© Luc Mathot)

The critical situation of the elephants and the great apes, and their role in the regeneration of the tropical forest, are well documented and...[details]

Renovation Afi Base

June 2011

The new sleeping shed at Afi Base Camp (© Inaoyom Imong)

Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary is the most westerly of three sites in Nigeria where Cross River gorillas occur, the other two sites being the Mbe...[details]

Tribute to Ymke Warren

June 2010

Ymke Warren during her observation of the mountain gorillas in Rwanda

We are grateful for this opportunity to shed a little light on an exceptional life that was dedicated to the study and conservation of Africa's...[details]

Response to Oil Prospecting in Gabon

December 2010

A hole for the dynamite is prepared. (© Luisa Rabanal)

As the world's oil reserves continue to decline, interest from major petroleum companies in the largely unexploited reserves of African oil...[details]

Approaches to Saving Gorillas in Nigeria

December 2010

WCS education coordinator, Mark Otu (right), hands over the keys of a snail pen to one of the project beneficiaries, John Kidze, as he receives hunting gear from him (© WCS)

Cross River gorillas face diverse threats resulting from high human population densities around the areas they inhabit. Efforts to save these...[details]

Readaptation of an Injured Juvenile

December 2010

Petit Ngoû before the injury (15 August 2008) (© Chieko Ando)

Since 2003, we have been trying to habituate western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) for the purpose of scientific research in Moukalaba-Doudou...[details]

Annelies Begas: Limbe 2010

November 2010

Limbe, Kamerun (© Annelies Begas)

In March/April 2008 I visited the mountain gorillas in Uganda (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park) and Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park). In Kibale...[details]

Monitoring Gorillas in Nigeria

July 2010

Comparison of encounter rate of human sign (per km) in Boshi Extension, Mbe Mountains and Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary (© Inaoyom Imong)

From March to August 2009, surveys were conducted to evaluate the status of gorillas and other diurnal primates and their habitat at four gorilla...[details]

Bai Hokou

June 2010

Shelly Masi with Makumba (© Ngombo Diedone)

The south-western region of the Central African Republic includes one of the most pristine tropical forests in the whole of Africa. Located in the...[details]

Gorillas of the Ebo Forest - Conservation

June 2010

Map of the proposed Ebo National Park (© Angela Meder, adapted from a map by Bethan Morgan)

In November 2002 a population of gorillas was "discovered" in the Ebo forest of southwestern Cameroon, less than 100 km north of the Sanaga...[details]

Western Gorilla Life History

December 2009

Side profiles of gorillas of different life-history classes. The two photos in each row present a typical example of the life-history classes used in this study (from top: infang, juvenile, subadult, blackback, young silverback and adult female/adult silverback (© Thomas Breuer)

Gorillas are known among the great apes for their fast life history patterns. In zoos it is common for female gorillas to give birth before reaching...[details]

Alternatives for Hunters

December 2009

Hunters demonstrate with bee suit and veil during training on bee-keeping in Butatong (© Louis Nkonyu)

As part of our efforts to improve the protection of the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla in Nigeria, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)...[details]

Bushmeat Investigation Trip

December 2009

Logging concessions around the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park (© Angela Meder)

Republic of Congo: in March 2009 I made a tour of the various markets in Ouesso, and for the first time realized the real ubiquity of bushmeat in...[details]

Gorilla Guardians in Cameroon 2009

December 2009

Peter Tipa, Moses Takia and hunter Prince Ebole with a gorilla nest (© WCS Takamanda-Mone Landscape Project, Cameroon)

Faced with the challenge of improving the monitoring of unprotected Cross River gorilla sites in Cameroon, the Gorilla Guardian community-based...[details]

Western Gorilla Tourism

June 2009

Silverback activity budget by human group type (© Chloe Hodgkinson)

Following the widely perceived success of mountain gorilla tourism, there has been increasing interest in developing tourism based on the observation...[details]

Nigeria: Cross River Gorillas

July 2009

The new camp in Mbe is constructed (© Andrew Dunn)

Improving Gorilla Protection in the Mbe MountainsCovering an area of about 80 km² the Mbe Mountains is one of three sites in Nigeria where gorillas...[details]

A New Approach to Gorilla Conservation: "Gorilla Guardians"

December 2008

Potential gorilla guardians (© Amelia Stott, WCS Takamanda-Mone Landscape Project)

A new community-based approach to the conservation of some of the most remote (and hence least protected) groups of Cross River gorillas is currently...[details]

Important Forest Corridor for Gorillas under Threat

December 2008

The Afi River Forest Reserve survey team

The Afi River Forest Reserve is an area lying between two sites in Nigeria where the Cross River gorilla is known to occur - the Afi Mountain...[details]

New Gorilla Population Estimates in Northern Republic of Congo

December 2008

Petunia with her son Asta while visiting Mbeli Bai (© Thomas Breuer)

On 5 August, 2008, at the XXII International Primatological Society Congress in Edinburgh, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced the...[details]

News from Cross River National Park 2007

December 2007

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Construction of a Ranger Post

September 2006

A new patrol post for the rangers (© Andrew Dunn)

In Bumaji (Cross River National Park) a new patrol post for the ranger was funded by us.[details]

First Observation of the Birth of a Western Gorilla in the Wild

June 2008

Mowane riding on Malui’s back (© Kate Bracewell)

On the 4th December 2007, staff of the Dzanga-Sangha's Primate Habituation Programme (PHP) witnessed the birth of a new gorilla infant into the...[details]

Conservation in the Mbe Mountains, Nigeria

June 2008

The Mbe eco-guards (© Andrew Dunn)

The Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) is Africa's most endangered taxon of ape, threatened by bushmeat hunting, conversion of forest for...[details]

Kagwene-Gorillas

June 2008

The WCS research camp and eco-guard post perched on the forest edge at 1,800 m above sea level. Cross River gorilla monitoring and protection activities are coordinated from this camp. (© WCS, Aaron Nicholas)

The government of Cameroon announced on the 3rd of April 2008 the creation of the world's first sanctuary exclusively for the Cross River gorilla,...[details]

Club Ebobo

June 2008

Club Ebobo

Gorilla populations throughout Western Equatorial Africa are rapidly declining. Illegal bushmeat hunting and the lack of law enforcement are seen as...[details]

The Gorillas of the Ebo Forest, Cameroon

June 2008

The mountains of the Ebo Forest near Locndeng (© Bethan Morgan)

Cameroon is an important country for both gorillas and chimpanzees. To the south of the Sanaga River, western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla...[details]

Genetic Analysis in the Cross River Gorilla

June 2007

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Orphan Gorilla Reintroduction

June 2007

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

News from Nigeria 2006

December 2006

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Community Conservation in Kahuzi-Biega

December 2006

Nur im PDF des Gorilla-Journals verfügbar[details]

Western Gorilla Tourism

December 2006

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

How Insectivorous Are Gorillas?

December 2006

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Construction of a Base Camp

October 2006

Base camp in the Mbe Mountains (© Andrew Dunn)

In the Mbe Reserve a base camp was constructed with our donation. Related News:News from Nigeria[details]

Cross-Sanaga-Gorillas

June 2006

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Habitat Protection for Cross River Gorillas

December 2005

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

The Maiombe Forest in Cabinda

June 2005

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Update on Nigeria: WCS's Work

June 2005

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Bushmeat and People’s Health

December 2004

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

The Gorillas of the Ebo Forest

June 2004

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Protection Strategies for Cross River Gorillas

December 2003

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

JGI in the Mengamé Reserve

December 2003

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

The Role of the Cross River National Park

February 2001

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Tourism in Dzanga-Sangha

February 2001

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Human Impact on Gorilla Behaviour

June 2010

Leanne Van der Weyde viewing the gorillas (© Michelle Klailova)

Western lowland gorilla tourism exists on a considerably smaller scale than that of the high profile mountain gorillas. Yet the successful...[details]

Affinities of the Ebo Forest Gorillas

December 2005

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

A Report from Nigeria 1998

June 1998

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Gorilla Killed in Nigeria

December 1998

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Gorillas in the Takamanda Reserve

June 1999

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Cross River Gorilla Subspecies

December 1999

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Additional Support for Cameroon

July 2009

Survey team getting ready to depart (© Aaron Nicholas, WCS TMLP)

When viewed on a clear day from a rocky mountain top high above the montane forest cloaked slopes of the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, the landscape in...[details]

A GIS Habitat Map for the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, Cameroon

December 2008

Kagwene monitoring (© Ymke Warren)

The Cross River gorilla is the most endangered of all great ape taxa, and its rare and increasingly fragmented populations continue to be threatened...[details]

The Power of Local Stories in Lebialem, Cameroon

December 2008

© Denis Ndeloh

Cross River gorillas are found in isolated forest blocks including the Bechati-Fossimondi-Besali forest area in Lebialem Division, southwest...[details]

Cave Dwelling Gorillas

December 2006

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Gorillas of Takamanda, Mbulu and Mone

February 2001

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Bushmeat Trade Around Cross River National Park

December 2001

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Good News for the Cross River Gorillas?

June 2002

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

The Gorilla in the Nyanga Tradition

December 2003

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Presence of Great Apes in Bas-Congo

December 2006

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Gorilla Conservation in Río Muni

June 1998

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Gorilla tourism in Central Africa

June 1999

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Obituary: Jordi Sabater Pí

December 2009

(© col. Sabater)

The ethologist Jordi Sabater Pí, Professor Emeritus at the Universitat de Barcelona and one of the internationally best-known Spanish scientists,...[details]

The Mbeli Bai Gorillas

December 1999

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Gorilla Studies in Nouabalé-Ndoki

December 1999

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Gorillas in the Odzala National Park

December 1999

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Moukalaba-Doudou

July 2009

The silverback Papa Gentil in Group Gentil (Sept. 2007) (© Chieko Ando)

Since 1999, a long-term survey of gorillas and chimpanzees has been conducted by Kyoto University in Moukalaba-Doudou National Park, Gabon. The...[details]

PALF

July 2009

The confiscated gorilla (© Luc Mathot)

The aim of PALF (Projet d'Appui à l'Application de la Loi sur la Faune Sauvage) is the legal protection of endangered species of the Congo Republic...[details]

Possible Goundou in Gorillas

December 2008

Specimen A (© Colin Groves)

It is generally recognised that naturally occurring treponematosis is found in some African nonhuman primates. In addition, bone lesions of...[details]

Wildlife Crime in Cameroon and Operations' Impact

December 2008

Abong Mbang, January 2008 (© LAGA)

Illegal trade in apes is an issue that has suffered from great confusion and lack of knowledge for a very long time. While endless popular bushmeat...[details]

Educational Activities in the Republic of Congo

June 2008

School visit (© PPG-Congo)

Following on from its success with gorilla reintroductions and protected area management, the PPG (Projet Protection des Gorilles)-Congo has...[details]

Ebola - from Bats to Gorillas

June 2006

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Orphan Gorilla Reintroduction

February 2001

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Great Ape Hunting in Lobeke

February 2001

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Conservation of Great Apes in Cameroon

December 2001

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file[details]

Conservation of Western Lowland Gorillas

December 2005

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Reintroduced Gorillas

June 2005

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Wildlife Law Enforcement in Cameroon

December 2004

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Gorillas Frequenting the Mongambe Bais

December 2002

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Tri-National de la Sangha

December 2002

Available only within the Gorilla Journal PDF file.[details]

Shifting Trend of Ape Trafficking

January 2013

Wildlife law enforcement operation in East of Cameroon led to arrest of traffickers in gorilla parts. (© LAGA)

In recent years, the trafficking of Afri­ca's apes has evolved into a highly organized criminal activity, but the situation has remained largely...[details]

The Aspinall Foundation's Project in Gabon

June 2011

Sophie with Antsia, Mbundu and Tonga (© PPG Gabon)

Over the last 12 years, UK-charity The Aspinall Foundation has been running a unique western lowland gorilla rehabilitation and...[details]

Gorilla Killers Arrested in Congo

June 2011

Hands of gorillas killed by a poacher in northern Congo (© PROGEPP – Projet Gestion des Ecosystèmes Périphériques au Parc National Nouabalé-Ndoki)

Two men were recently arrested in the Kabo forestry concession in northern Republic of Congo for hunting a gorilla. The hunt was carried out during...[details]

New Action Plan for Western Lowland Gorilla Conservation

July 2015

Priority landscapes for western lowland gorilla and central chimpanzee conservation (Courtesy of Danielle LaBruna and Fiona Maisels)

Most of the world’s gorillas and about one-third of all chimpanzees live in Western Equatorial Africa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial...[details]