Cross River gorilla
Cross River gorilla
Gorilla gorilla diehli
South-eastern Nigeria and western Cameroon
Around 250-300 individuals
This restricted distribution to highland areas is likely a consequence of human hunting pressure and competition over habitat, which is more intense in lowland areas.
With a population of only around 250-300 divided into several subpopulations, some of which number no more than 20 individuals, it is currently the world’s rarest great ape.
Many Cross River gorilla groups live in unprotected forest and face the threat of habitat loss through logging and as local people clear land for agriculture and cattle grazing.
As forests are opened up by timber companies, hunters move in.
Loss of genetic diversity
The subspecies also faces the risk of inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity due to the small population size and the low flow of genetic exchange between the different subpopulations.
Although areas of unoccupied potential gorilla habitat still remain and can provide connectivity between the subpopulations, these areas are not yet safe for gorillas to use.
Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests.
Cameroon Highlands Forests
In collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon, we are particularly working to strengthen protection and law enforcement for the Cross River gorilla. For example:
- We are working to improve cooperation between Nigeria and Cameroon for protecting the subspecies
- In Cameroon, we contributed to initiatives that led to the establishment of a new sanctuary in the Kagwene Mountains.
- WWF is also supporting government efforts to supervise the management of Campo Ma’an National Park in Cameroon and encourage sustainable use of forest resources in its buffer zone.
- In Nigeria, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, a WWF Affiliate, is working with communities in the Cross River National Park.
- Future projects will focus on establishing protected corridors of forest habitat that will allow safe movement of gorillas between different groups
» WWF's work to save gorillas
» WWF African Great Apes Programme
» Work in the Congo Basin
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