Great Apes

Great ape conservation has long been a signature for our team. In particular, we offer depth of expertise in gorilla conservation in Central Africa.

Myriad threats—ranging from poaching to habitat loss to civil conflict—place all four sub-species of gorilla at risk, including the mountain gorilla, Grauer’s gorilla, western lowland gorilla, and Cross River gorilla.

For over 20 years, we’ve worked to address these threats by supporting: effective park management; anti-poaching patrols; species and habitat monitoring; and sustainable ecotourism. And, we believe there is enormous potential to deepen community engagement in conservation across Central Africa by further leveraging traditional cultural values that support protection of our closest animal relatives and their forest habitat.

As we look to the future of our work with great apes, we see much to signal success and inspire optimism. For example, we are leveraging decades of work with mountain gorillas through the International Gorilla Conservation Programme to benefit other great ape populations in the Great Lakes region. This includes a deepened partnership with the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration to better support regional integration of efforts to protect key ape populations. In addition, we are proud to have begun a new collaboration with long-time colleague Dr. Augustin Basabose and his Congolese organization Primate Expertise, with whom we will work on community-based programming in eastern DRC to conserve Grauer’s gorilla and chimpanzee, and to improve livelihoods of those living closest to these great apes.

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As we look to the future of our work with great apes, we see much to signal success and inspire optimism.