Half of Western Lowland Gorillas May Vanish by 2040. Here’s How We Can Prevent That.

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This western lowland gorilla seems to be sizing up the photographer. Credit: Ben Evans/WCS.

We hope that the silverback who charged so impressively and for so long in 1988 was allowed to age gracefully, because the bad news is that gorilla populations are dropping to the tune of 2.7 percent a year.

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From under cover of leaves and branches, Buka, a silverback gorilla in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, watches the forest. The study also revealed that 360,000 western lowland gorillas call the Republic of Congo home. This is almost a third more individuals than prior numbers indicated. But with the good, comes the bad: These populations are known to be declining at 2.7 percent annually. Credit: Zanne Labuschagne/WCS.

As we look to the future, most worrying is that 80 percent of western lowland gorillas and central chimpanzees live outside the relatively safe havens of protected areas.

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WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

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