G I A N T S

In The Forest

Mountain gorillas are one of the rarest large mammal species in the world. Found only in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are the world's largest living primates.

These gorillas are dependent upon the forests in which they live. Their diet consists of over 100 different plant species, and an adult gorilla can consume up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of food per day. Dominant silverback males can consume up to 35 kilograms (77 pounds) daily.

Given their large appetites, these apes are constantly in search of food, moving across home ranges as large as 40 square kilometers (15 square miles).

The forests that mountain gorillas call home are surrounded by enormous populations of people living in poverty and struggling to survive from day to day. For many, their only option for survival is to exploit the natural resources these forests contain.

Poaching, the spread of disease and habitat loss—from land conversion for agriculture and deforestation for firewood or lumber—are all threatening the future of the mountain gorilla.

With less than 900 remaining in the wild, these primates are now critically endangered.

African Wildlife Foundation has partnered with a coalition of conservation organizations working on the ground to ensure the gorilla population will endure. 

By better equipping park staff and helping local communities benefit from the presence of gorillas (through income generated by tourism), our efforts have helped the nearly extinct mountain gorilla population grow by more than 15 percent. 

Learn more about the amazing mountain gorilla, and discover the ways AWF is working to guarantee their future. Visit http://bit.ly/awf-gorilla

Photos: Martin Harvey Stephen Ham Craig R. Sholley Billy Dodson

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