IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)


Although gorillas in the Cross River region first became known to science in the early 20th century, little attention was paid to their conservation status until the late 1980s (Harcourt et al. 1989). Early reports had referred to their precarious situation, but little had been done to thoroughly examine their distribution and abundance, or to protect the remaining population and habitat (Anon 1934, Critchley 1968, March 1957). Intensive surveys over the last decade have found that approximately 250 to 300 G. g. diehli persist in a forested area of roughly 8,000 km². This estimate is of uncertain accuracy and is based primarily on nest counts and estimated range size. The gorillas are found in at least 10 localities (Groves 2002, Beamont 2004, Bergl 2006, Bergl and Vigilant 2007). Though the localities where the gorillas are found are geographically distinct, the majority of these areas are connected by forested land. Recent genetic evidence suggests that three subpopulations are present, but that these subpopulations do have limited reproductive contact (Bergl and Vigilant 2007). These localities are primarily rugged highlands, typically in areas relatively less disturbed by human activity. While there may be an ecological component to this distribution, the gorilla’s concentration in highland areas is almost certainly strongly influenced by human hunting pressure, which is more intense in the lowlands. Ebola has not been reported in the G. g. diehli population, but their close proximity to dense human populations puts them at high potential risk of acquiring human pathogens (Oates et al. 2007).

Population Trend


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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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