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125,000 gorillas discovered in the Congo
06 August 2008

An estimated 125,000 Western lowland gorillas have been found in two adjacent areas in northern Republic of Congo. The exciting discovery brings renewed hope for the Western lowland gorilla sub-species, currently classified as Critically Endangered, and previously thought to number fewer than 50,000 across their entire range.
 
Jillian Miller, executive director of The Gorilla Organization said; “the discovery of such a large population of Western lowland gorillas is absolutely fantastic news for the sub-species and for conservationists, but we should be careful not to be too complacent. The area where these gorillas have been found is in the path of the Ebola virus, which has wiped out large numbers of Western lowland gorillas during the past 25 years”.
 
“Numbers are less important than trends, and sadly the trend for all gorilla sub-species, apart from the Mountain gorillas, has been a downturn in population figures. However this recent discovery does provide conservationists with a great opportunity to turn these trends around” Miller continued.
 
The last census on Western lowland gorillas took place during the 1980’s and estimated that 100,000 remained in the world. However since then it is thought that the numbers have been reduced to fewer than 50,000 as a result of hunting and the deadly Ebola virus.
 
The results of the recent census, carried out by the Wildlife Conservation Society, were announced at the International Primatological Society Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland.
 

Click here to see Jillian Miller, the Gorilla Organization's executive director, interviewed on CNN.

for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org