posted on April 04, 2016 07:01
Grauer’s gorilla is the largest primate on Earth and a close cousin to the mountain gorilla (both are subspecies of the eastern gorilla). It only occurs in eastern Democratic Republic Of Congo, a region that has been torn apart by conflict since 1996. It has been very difficult to estimate the impact of the war on this gorilla because of continuing insecurity but recently WCS and Fauna and Flora Intrenational combined forces to compile all survey data existing since 2011 and also to make surveys across its range. The results show that only 3,800 Grauer’s gorillas remain in the wild, indicating a 77% loss from 17,000 in 1996. Such a catastrophic decline in a population means that it becomes Critically Endangered on the global IUCN red list, which will make both gorilla species and all four gorilla sub species critically endangered. Both English and French reports are available that document the decline, the methods and the analyses. WCS is calling for the rapid creation of the Itombwe Reserve and Punia Gorilla Reserve which together would conserve over 50% of the remaining gorillas. Community consultations has agreed on boundaries for the Itombwe Reserve and similar consultations are ongoing with communities around Punia Gorilla Reserve.Please click here to view the video about the decline of Grauer's Gorilla populations.