Researchers have found what they are labeling the ‘mother lode’ of western lowland gorillas in the Republic of Congo. The gorillas have been found in an isolated forest known by researchers and scientists alike as the “Green Abyss” because the forest is nearly impossible to navigate on foot because of all the swamps. No roads exist in this forest, and it has been void of humans because of its harsh traveling conditions. The forest has not been logged, and these gorillas have not been exposed to human disease, which is why the population has been allowed to grow to a whopping 120,000 gorillas!
Western Lowland Gorillas are critically endangered animals with worldwide numbers ranging from around 50,000 to 70,000 total. This new discovery more than doubles the worldwide number of western lowland gorillas. In 2007 Western Lowland Gorillas were labeled as Critically Endangered because their numbers were projected to decline more than 80 percent over three generations due to the Ebola virus, poachers and leopards
Efforts by conservationists and environmentalists are already being rallied to make the forest a protected park so that this habitat remains intact and the gorilla numbers are not threatened in the future.