a long time, it was thought that there was just one species of gorillas
with three different subspecies, but currently, it is known by scientists that there are at least two different species (Western gorillas and Eastern gorillas) which are
divided at the same time in two subspecies:
W E S T E R N
WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLA
Scientific name:Gorilla gorilla gorilla
Habitat: Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea and Gabon.
Description: They are the smallest of all
gorillas species. They travel within a home range averaging from 7,8 to
47 square kilometres looking for food. In 2006, 125.000 more of them
were found in Télé and Marantaceae.
Wild population: ~200.000 individuals. Conservation status: endangered. Captivity: The Western Lowland gorilla is the most common species in zoos with 848 individuals (as of 2011) in captivity worldwide.
E A S T E R N
Scientific name:Gorilla beringei beringei
Habitat: Virunga Mountains and Bwindi Forest. Description: There remain just two populations of them,
living in the Virunga area (Rwanda) and in Bwindi (Uganda), but since
1989 the number of mountain gorillas has increased. Due to the cold
weather they have very long and black hair. Wild population:~880 individuals. Conservation status: critically endangered. Captivity: as it is a very difficult to keep them in captivity, there is currently just a rescue centre keeping them (Senkwekwe): Ndeze, Ndakasi and Maisha.
G O R I L L A S
CROSS RIVER GORILLA
Scientific name:Gorilla gorilla diehli
Habitat: The border area between Nigeria and Cameroon.
are now considered another subspecies since it was discovered in 2000
that they have different skull and tooth dimensions, and they are
considered the most endangered species of apes in Africa.
Wild population:~250 individuals. Conservation status: critically endangered. Captivity:
There's only one registered Cross River gorilla being kept in
captivity; a female called Nyango living at Limbe Wildlife Center.
G O R I L L A S
EASTERN LOWLAND GORILLA
Scientific name:Gorilla beringei graueri Habitat: Mountainous forests of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Description:
They are considered the biggest primate species. They eat leaves,
fruit, bamboo and insects. They are endangered due to the destruction of
their habitats and the illegal hunting. They live in groups of 5 to 30
members. Wild population:~2500 individuals. Conservation status: endangered. Captivity: There are only two individuals living in zoos (Victoria and Amahoro, Antwerp) and an orphan group at the rescue centre GRACE (Congo).