Mountain gorilla population numbers updated Nov 13, 2012480 in Virunga Massif + 400 in Bwindi = 880 mountain gorillas Learn more
Gorillas share a common ancestry with humans. After chimpanzees, they are our closest living relatives among the world’s great apes. Studies of fossils, genes, physiology and behaviour have revealed just how recently our shared lineage divided.
Until 1960, gorillas had not been studied in the wild. The work of George Schaller and, subsequently, Dian Fossey began to shed light on the behaviour of mountain gorillas and changed the public image of the gorilla from monstrous King Kong to peaceful vegetarian.
Gorillas are complex, highly intelligent apes, besieged by threats on all sides, including poachers, and confined to a dwindling habitat that is in constant danger of being further eroded .
Gorillas as flagship species
Charismatic animals such as gorillas serve as “flagship” species. The mountain gorilla not only attracts public support in its own right, but also helps to focus attention on its afromontane habitat, upon which many other species depend for survival.
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If you value the natural world, if you believe it should be conserved for its own sake as well as for humanity’s, then please lend your support.
- — Sir David Attenborough