Gorillas

There are only two species of gorillas in the world – the Eastern Gorilla and the Western Gorilla. For each group there are a couple of sub species. Though most people think that there are two species of gorillas; the Lowland gorillas and the Mountain gorillas, this is false!

Gorilla Species

  • Eastern Gorilla ( these are found in Uganda, Congo, Rwanda} These have two Sub species; the mountain gorilla (G. b. beringei) and the Eastern lowland or Grauer’s gorilla (G. b. graueri) . The total number of these gorillas is about 17,000 though the mountain gorillas is estimated to be about 900 individuals
  • Western Gorilla {these are found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria}. Sub species include Cross rive Gorillas that are only found in Cameroon and Nigeria (250-300 Total) and the Western lowland gorillas (100,000 Total).

All the four subspecies are either Endangered or Critically Endangered, threatened by hunting for bush meat, habitat loss, wildlife trade, and infectious diseases.

Endangered Species:
The Mountain gorillas have very low numbers and are found only in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Then there are the Cross River gorillas. All of these types of gorillas are considered to be endangered due to low numbers, destruction of their habitat, and poaching.

All the gorillas in the wild live in Africa. A few gorillas are found in zoos. They prefer the tropical and sub tropical regions. Since they rely up large amounts of trees, plants, and fruits to consume they are often found in the forests. Those that live in the mountains are at very low numbers, less than 300. Just about all gorillas that you see in captivity are Western gorillas.

Learn More about gorillas in Africa:

  • Classification – How are gorillas classified? Gorilla Species
  • Destinations – Where do gorillas live?,
  • Habits – how do they live, feeding habits, mating habits, community life…and so much more.

While there are two species they are very similar in their appearance and what they eat. The differences have to do with some genetic factors such as one being smaller and the details of the nose. In fact, it is for this reason that gorillas were all classified as one species for many decades.

They also have some variations in the type of sounds they make for communication. Yet they are both very calm creatures and very good with their young. They form amazing bonds within their troops and they love to have fun as well. They are amazing animals that have a high level of abilities for adapting and even for using items such as rocks and sticks as tools.

All species of gorillas have the ability to mate at any time. They aren’t going to only do so at a given point in time which is the case for most animals. They will care for offspring for many years so that means there aren’t many new babies being born on a regular basis into a troop. This is one of the biggest problems we have with the gorillas species – it is extremely hard to get their numbers up due to the slow rate of reproduction.

Gorillas are the largest of all apes, and they are the closest relative known to humans. Not everyone is comfortable with that information, but DNA doesn’t lie. To many, the fact that they are closely related to humans is an excellent reason to help them to survive. All species of gorillas are extremely intelligent and they are able to learn many things that humans attempt to teach them.

Conservation efforts are very big right now for gorillas due to their status. However, the rate at which their natural habitat continues to be depleted is a battle that is very difficult to win. The people of Africa continue to have an increased population so removing parts of the forest allows them to have room for them.

Poaching of the gorillas to get their food sources, to consume for meat, and to sell on the black market continue as well. It is very difficult to offer enough protection for them even though it is desperately needed. There has been plenty of research on the gorilla species and they won’t be able to survive without humans changing their ways.

Gorillas have very few predators but man has make survival very difficult for these animals. Educating the public about the needs of these gorilla species is very important. Many people simply don’t realize just how threatened their overall survival is at this point in time.