The eastern lowland gorilla or Grauer's gorilla is a subspecies of eastern gorilla endemic to the mountainous forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Grauer’s gorilla, also known as the eastern lowland gorilla, is found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Today, this subspecies is confined to the primary tropical forest of eastern DRC – most notably in Kahuzi-Biega and Maiko National Parks, but a substantial portion of its habitat falls outside these areas in the vast, yet legally unprotected forest that separates them.
A 2016 report by Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the Wildlife Conservation Society and other partners documented an alarming drop in Grauer’s gorilla numbers, from an estimated 17,000 in 1995 to just 3,800 individuals. A recent follow-up study has led to this estimate being revised upwards to 6,800, but this is still less than half the number recorded a quarter of a century earlier. The subspecies is now listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Est. in the wild:
Grauer’s gorilla is a subspecies of the eastern gorilla, and as such is closely related to the mountain gorilla. It is the largest of all gorilla subspecies.
of the entire population could be lost by 2054 unless urgent action is taken.
Male Grauer’s gorillas can weigh roughly the same as a grand piano.
The severe decline in Grauer’s gorillas has been driven primarily by hunting (due to high demand for bushmeat from a growing human population that has few alternative, affordable proteins), the destabilising impact of armed groups, and habitat loss due to agricultural conversion, logging and artisanal mining.
The permanent presence of people employed by extractive industries in the forest has also aggravated many of these threats in recent years.
Urgent action is needed to stop the decline in Grauer's gorillas before it is too late. Please support our work to protect these remarkable great apes and other species like them.
Since 2012, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has worked with local communities and authorities to conserve Grauer’s gorillas and their habitat in community forest areas outside the national parks.
Today, FFI is supporting three community reserves that are home to Grauer’s gorilla, where we are helping to build local capacity, as well as training and equipping community rangers.
We have also been helping the reserves to conduct monthly bio-monitoring patrols that record the presence of gorilla groups and other threatened species such as chimpanzee, okapi and Congo peafowl. While monitoring, rangers also remove snares that can endanger the lives of these rare gorillas.
Almost 8,000 species of fish, amphibian, reptile, mammal and bird are officially categorised as globally threatened, and over 9,600 tree species are in danger of extinction.
Forests contain the overwhelming majority of life on Earth, including a staggering 80% of the planet’s terrestrial species.