About Western Gorillas

The western species of gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) consists of two recognized subspecies Gorilla gorilla gorilla (western lowland gorillas) and Gorilla gorilla diehli (Cross River gorillas). The taxonomic status of gorilla populations in Ebo/Ndokbou (Cameroon) and in the Maiombe Forest (Cabinda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo) awaits clarification.

The western gorilla Gorilla gorilla is found in Cameroon, mainland Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Gabon, Republic of Congo, Cabinda (Angola), Central African Republic (CAR), Nigeria and possibly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The core population had until recently an almost continuous distribution in suitable habitat from southern CAR to the Congo River and west to the coast. Small outlying populations remain on the Nigeria-Cameroon border at the headwaters of the Cross River and in the Ebo/Ndokbou forest in Cameroon, just north of the lower Sanaga River. The species may also persist in the Maiombe region of Democratic Republic of Congo contiguous with Cabinda.

Two subspecies are currently recognized. G. g. gorilla (Savage & Wyman, 1847) occurs in Cameroon (south of the Sanaga River), south to the Congo River mouth, and east across the Sangha River, to the Oubangi River. The subspecies G. g. diehli (Matschie, 1903) occurs in a small area on the Nigeria-Cameroon border, extending a short distance on either side of the border in the forests on the upper drainage of the Cross River. There are estimated to be approximately only 300 individuals remaining of this subspecies.