A new census of the gorilla population shows that there are significantly more gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo than scientists thought.
When scientists counted the species of Grauer's gorilla five years ago, there were only 3,800 individuals left. When the researchers made a new compilation this year, it turned out that the number had increased to 6,800 gorillas.
The success comes from the fact that local communities, in collaboration with animal welfare organizations, have protected the forests where the gorillas live from poaching and illegal deforestation.
"Without good protection and good forest management, Grauer's gorilla would be very close to becoming extinct. There is pressure from mining and poaching that threatens the gorillas. We must therefore protect these forests to save the gorillas", says Deo Kujirakwinja of the Wildlife Conservation Society who co-financed the study, in a press release.
A total of 1,500 square kilometers of forest in the Oku forests are protected. The Wildlife Conservation Society, WCM, and other organizations are now working to protect another 3,000 square kilometers of forest in the same area.
Photo: WCM / Andrew Plumptre