With our collaborative engagement and investment over more than two decades, the mountain gorilla population has nearly doubled. We are now leveraging our experience to benefit the critically endangered Grauer’s gorilla in the forested landscapes of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Grauer’s gorillas were reclassified as critically endangered in 2016, with a population estimated at 3,800 individuals and declining at 5% per year. This rapid decline is being driven by poaching and habitat loss. We’re partnering with internationally-recognized primatologist and founder of the Congolese NGO Primate Expertise, Dr. Augustin Basabose. We have worked with Dr. Basabose for many years on mountain gorilla conservation and now to protect Grauer’s gorillas in the upland sector of Kahuzi-Biega National Park.
In partnership with Primate Expertise, we are addressing two major threats to great apes in and around Kahuzi-Biega—poaching and habitat loss. The park is home to one of four remaining populations of Grauer’s gorilla. Together, we are implementing ecological monitoring and research, snare removal and anti-poaching patrols, habitat restoration, and livelihood diversification to protect gorillas and improve livelihoods of people living in buffer areas outside the park.
As we look to the future of our work with great apes, we see much to signal success and inspire optimism.