Ecology

Gorillas live in the rain forest, just like all other great apes. Only chimpanzees occur in the african tree-savannah as well. Everyday the Gorillas wander around in their areas, from one feeding ground to another. They feed almost exclusively on plants, which they consume in large volumes. Without forests Gorillas cannot survive. They only leave the forest when they are searching for food in the open grassland.


Life History Patterns of Female Gorillas

The concept of net energy balance is familiar to all of us: we eat too many calories and we gain weight; we exercise a lot without changing caloric…

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Behavioural Flexibility and Foraging Strategies of Wild Western Gorillas

Tropical rainforests are characterized by seasonal fluctuations in fruit availability with important inter-annual variations in tree productivity.…

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Climate Change in the Congo Basin

The Congo Basin covers an area of more than 4 million km² and is home to a number of different ecosystems. Grassy savannas in the North and South…

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Distribution and Habitat Use of Gorillas in the Ebo Forest

Although gorilla distribution and habitat use are fairly well known for many gorilla populations in Cameroon, very little is known concerning the Ebo…

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As Temperatures Increase, Mountain Gorillas get Thirstier

Climate change is in the media on a daily basis, but the focus is often on arid ecosystems, while we rarely think about its impact on animals living…

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Community Reserves in a Retreating Environment

The natural forests in western North Kivu province and Maniema province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, are very rich in biodiversity of…

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Ecological Research in the Kivu Region

As we fly from Rwanda's capital Kigali to the Kivu region in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, our route stretches over a hilly landscape…

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Lethal Coalitionary Attacks of Chimpanzees on Gorillas in Loango National Park, Gabon

In 2019, in Loango National Park, Gabon, we observed two lethal coalitionary attacks by chimpanzees on gorillas, with each attack lasting approximatly…

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Increased Gorilla Density May Lead to Increased Aggression

The number of mountain gorillas on the Virunga Volcanoes has increased continuously for four decades now, as was shown during the last censuses. The…

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Why Are We Still Studying Gorillas? The Value of Long-Term Research of Bwindi Gorillas

A few years ago, when I was well into my now 30-year career studying gorillas, my father asked me, 'Don't we know enough about gorillas by now?'…

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

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…

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Seed Dispersal by Western Lowland Gorillas: from Fruits to Seedlings

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

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Ape Dung to Restore Degraded and Fragmented Forest Habitats

Though restoring forest is not a substitute to preserve intact forest, for sites where large parts of the forest have already been cleared, restoring…

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Feeding Competition in Female Bwindi Mountain Gorillas

All animals - including humans - must eat to survive. The energy derived from food is necessary to sustain basic metabolic and muscle functions,…

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Tracking of Grauer's Gorillas in North Kivu

A camera trap placed in the forest caught a group of Grauer’s gorillas. (© DFGFI)

The effective protection of a gorilla population requires a solid knowledge of the demography, ecology and behaviour of their social groups. The…

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Bushmeat Hunting Changes African Rainforests

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

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Park Protects Swamp Dwelling Gorillas

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…

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Tree Nesting in Mawambi Hills Gorillas

Mawambi is a 43 km² lowland forest site, also known as Takpe/Awuri, located to the southeast of the Takamanda National Park in Cameroon. The Ma­wambi…

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Feeding Ecology of Sympatric Apes

[Translate to EN:] Ein Gorilla-Silberrückenmann auf der Suche nach Früchten in Loango.

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

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Changing Ecological Conditions

[Translate to EN:] Cyril Grüter auf dem Gipfel

The mountain gorillas of the Virunga Volcano Massif have been the subject of intense research and conservation efforts by the Karisoke Research Center…

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Impact of Sericostachys scandens

Sericostachys scandens in Nyungwe National Park, showing the recent die-off. Left: 20 January 2010, right: 27 October 2010 (© Paul Scholte)

In November, 2004, WCS and ICCN teams surveyed the highland sector of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park where they found at least 168 gorillas. The…

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Bai Hokou

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…

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Tree Nursery on Mt. Tshiaberimu

During germination, the seedlings are protected from the sun (© Jean de Dieu Vhosi)

Mount Tshiaberimu is a site that is critical both for conservation and for the development of local communities. It is located in one of the most…

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Western Gorilla Life History

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 <link internal-link>zoos it is common for female gorillas to give birth before reaching…

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How Insectivorous Are Gorillas?

Bwindi Gorilla Diet