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“While there are more western lowland gorillas than any other gorilla sub-species, they are highly threatened by hunting, the Ebola virus and the loss of their forest to uncontrolled development. We need to figure out ways for gorillas and humans to be able to live side by side, and quickly”.
FFI Liberia Programme Manager
The western lowland gorilla is found in the lowland tropical forests and swamp forests of Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
These Critically Endangered gorillas are threatened by commercial hunting, deforestation and the Ebola virus.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been working with local stakeholders in Cameroon, especially with the local organisation Centre International d’ Appui au Developpement Durable (CIAD) and the African Conservation and Development Foundation (ACDEF), to protect the western lowland gorillas in and around the Dja Reserve, a Man and Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.
Initially the project focused on developing possible gorilla-based ecotourism to improve rural livelihoods and to raise environmental awareness in local communities, especially amongst the marginalised Baka pygmies.
The project is now working to establish an early warning system against poaching supported by the recent advances in information technology.
Western gorillas include two subspecies – western lowland gorillas and Cross River gorillas.