Gorilla Numbers

Before conservation measures for a gorilla population can be planned, their numbers and their exact distribution area have to be known. For this purpose, a Census is made. In general, survey teams walk along pre-determined straight lines (so-called transects) and note all gorilla traces they see. On this basis the distribution area is drawn and population numbers are calculated, and this allows experts to decide whether conservation measures are necessary and which ones are most urgent.

In mountain gorillas the situation is different: as their distribution is well known, Gorilla Groups are counted individually. If possible, such censuses are done every 5 years to track the development of the population.

Gorilla Numbers

* this is the official Red List number - a new study estimates 6800

Numbers of gorillas in various populations
The numbers of most populations are not known, and it is very difficult to give valid numbers. Recently, the number of gorillas has been cut severely by bushmeat hunting and Ebola. All gorilla species and subspecies are endangered or critically endangered according to the IUCN Red Data List.

Gorilla Baby Boom in Bwindi?

In 2020, many gorillas were born within the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park's gorilla population; an exceptional number of 6 gorillas within 7 weeks...

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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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Conservation Efforts and Costs for Monitoring Gorillas at Douguetsi Site, Gabon

Despite the efforts of conservation NGOs and research teams, the expansion of anthropogenic activities such as bushmeat hunting, logging, and...

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A Tragedy in Bwindi

The silverback Rafiki was killed in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, presumably by poachers. Rafiki was a member of the mountain gorilla group...

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Essential Components of the Mountain Gorilla Success Story

Over the past five years the conservation community has successfully completed what, to date, have been the most intensive and comprehensive...

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1,063 Mountain Gorillas - What Does this Number Mean?

My entire childhood was spent in the south of France, on a hill between an evergreen oak forest and the garrigue. Our family had a lot of cats, who...

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A Long-Term Monitoring Programme for Great Apes in Monte Alén National Park

Equatorial Guinea's forests maintain some of the highest levels of biodiversity in Central Africa (Sunderland 2005). Despite its small size, the...

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Mount Tshiaberimu - the Science behind the Mountain of Spirits

The northern sector of Mount Tshiaberimu is an integral part of the Virunga National Park (VNP), the west is adjacent to Lake Edward in North Kivu...

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Reactions of Wild Great Apes to Camera-trap Devices

Camera trapping has become a predominant method for wildlife monitoring (Burton et al. 2015; Steenweg et al. 2017), including primates (Gerber et al....

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Population of Bwindi Gorillas Increases to 459 Animals

Taking into account the latest census from Bwindi-Sarambwe, and including the figures for Virunga gorillas from the 2015-2016 census, the global total...

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Gorillas on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

A recent change in the mountain gorilla listing on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species from Critically Endangered (CR) to Endangered (EN) received...

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GRASP & IUCN Great Apes Status Report 2018: Summary

Great ape populations in Africa and Asia are severely threatened by the combined impacts of habitat loss, poaching, illegal trade, and disease. Since...

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First Video Footage of the Elusive Ebo Gorillas in Cameroon

Gorillas were 'discovered' in the Ebo forest in 2002 (Morgan et al. 2003) and since then the Zoological Society of San Diego's Ebo Forest Research...

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Give Me Your Dung And I Will Tell You Who You Are

In many primate species individuals coordinate their activities, share space and form groups. But how do groups form, how long can they exist and how...

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Long-term Biomonitoring on Great Apes Using Camera Traps at Kahuzi-Biega

Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) is home to exceptionally diverse flora and fauna and represents an important site in the Albertine Rift, one of the...

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New Population Estimate for Western Lowland Gorillas

Kamaya, Loango National Park, Gabon (© Martha Robbins)

In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, Samantha Strindberg, Fiona Maisels and 52 coauthors provide the most comprehensive assessment to...

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Number of Virunga Gorillas Increased again!

In 2015 to 2016 another gorilla census was conducted in the Virunga Volcanoes - and as the censuses before, the result was very positive again. It...

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Tribute to Kanyonyi

It is with great sadness to inform you about the loss of one of my favorite gorillas in Bwindi, Kanyonyi, the lead silverback of Mubare group. He died...

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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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On the Road to Extinction? A Population Estimate of Great Apes in Itombwe

Periodic censuses of threatened wildlife populations of high profile species help us to understand their population dynamics, assess the success of...

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First Twins Born to Habituated Western Lowland Gorillas

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

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Gorilla Habituation for Research and Tourism in Loango

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

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Grauer’s Gorilla Population Reduced Dramatically

Grauer's gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorillas and live in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo - an area where fighting between various...

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The Sarambwe Reserve: Current Developments and Threats

This article documents activities implemented in the Sarambwe Reserve and the almost continuous threats to the conservation of the reserve. It is...

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Rukina - Life Summary

Rukina (© Martha M. Robbins/MPI-EVAN)

We estimate that Rukina was born around 1984. He was well identified as a group member of the Kyagurilo Group in the late 1990s when he was a young...

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

Camera trap (© Josephine Head)

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

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The Status of Grauer's Gorilla in the Usala Forest

Nkomo mountain which supports gorillas, taken from Rama village (© Stuart Nixon)

The Usala forest sits at the heart of the 30,000 km² Maiko Tayna region of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is among the most intact,...

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Maiko National Park Progress Report

Maiko National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo, lies in one of the most remote forest areas in the world. It is an incredible wilderness area,...

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Gorilla Group Formation and Dynamics

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...

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Two Silverbacks Die in Rwanda

The 21-year-old silverback male Umushikirano (Rano), leader of Titus group in Volcanoes National Park, was found dead on July 28, 2014 by trackers....

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Two Leading Silverbacks Die

Mishaya, the leader of the Mishaya group, died on 3 February, 2014 at the age of 28 years after a short illness. Preliminary results indicate that his...

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History of Habituated Gorillas in Bwindi

Habituation of wild gorillas has long been a useful tool for research and conservation programs. Decisions to habituate gorillas typically reflect a...

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Getting off the "in Danger" List: Kahuzi-Biega

A poacher camp in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (© ICCN)

The Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Since 1997, it has been on the list of World Heritage Sites in...

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Gorillas in the Dimonika Biosphere Reserve

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...

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Blood Samples from Tshiaberimu Gorillas

On a small forested island in the western region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Virunga National Park, a tiny population of Grauer's...

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Gorilla Guardian Update

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, which...

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DFGF Grauer’s Gorilla Program

Biruwe field technicians (© DFGFI)

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund In­ter­na­tio­nal (DFGFI) has expanded its efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to build a new Grauer’s...

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Bwindi Gorilla Number Increased to 400

The census team working (© IGCP)

A census of the gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park conducted in 2011 confirms a minimum population of 400 gorillas, raising the world...

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The 2011 Kwita Izina

Performance at the Kwita Izina (© Gabriele Müller-Jensen)

Rwanda demonstrates how much the country values its few remaining mountain gorillas. Every year, Kwita Izina is celebrated in June. All mountain...

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Key Species Monitoring Plan for Kahuzi-Biega

Range areas of the gorilla groups (© Radar Birhashirwa Nishuli)

A monitoring plan for gorillas and elephants has just been launched in the highland sector of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP). Its pur­pose is...

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Gorillas in Deng-Deng

Location of the Deng Deng and Mbam et Djerem National Parks in Cameroon and Gorilla gorilla gorilla distribution (© Angela Meder (information: Fiona Maisels)

Deng Deng - Previous Surveys

In 1998 an environmental impact survey of a proposed oil pipeline route from Chad to Cameroon was commissioned by the...

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New Gorilla Census in Kahuzi-Biega 2010

Chimanuka and one of his offspring (© Angela Meder)

A census team led by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) in Kahuzi-Biega National...

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Situation in the Babira Bakwame Area, Kahuzi-Biega Park

Cassiterite bags ready to be shipped to Bukavu and Goma (© Isidore Kikukama Mupenda, WWF)

The Kasese region contains the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP), the Maïko National Park and various forests that are not gazetted as protected areas...

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Changing Ecological Conditions

Cyril Grüter on top of a Virunga Volcano (© Cyril Grüter)

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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Readaptation of an Injured Juvenile

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...

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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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Gorilla Census in the Virungas 2010

Augustin Basabose with an assistant during the census (© Augustin Basabose)

Recently, I spent 10 days in the field as part of a team counting mountain gorillas during a 2-month census which took place from 1st March to 25th...

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History of Mountain Gorilla Research

Titus in 1974, 2 days old, in the arms of his mother Flossie (© Kelly Stewart)

Fifty years ago, in 1959, George Schaller left New York for Africa to begin a study of mountain gorillas that would have lasting impact. His year of...

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Survey in Itombwe 2006

Itombwe Massif Conservation Landscape (© Angela Meder, Adapted from a map by WCS)

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been undertaking biological inventories in the Itombwe Massif since 1995. This area holds the largest and...

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