Gorillas are categorized as endangered species by International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN). We have gathered complete information on Why Are Gorillas Endangered and stated down all the reasons for each of its species due which their population is declining. But first you need to know what is an endangered specie and how it is classified as endangered.
Endangered species are the one which are going to be extinct in the future. International Union for Conservation of Nature is an organization which categorize species into different categories for instance:
- Endangered species
- Critically Endangered species etc.
- Endangered species are the one:
- whose population have declined by 50 to 70%
- or have only 2500 or less than 2500 mature individuals remaining.
- or when there is 20% decline in the population of a specie within five generations.
- Critically endangered species are the one:
- whose population have declined by 80 to 90%.
- or have less than 250 mature individuals remaining. or
- when there is 50% decline in the population of a specie within three generations.
Why Are Gorillas Endangered
Gorillas are endangered due to the following reasons:
- Habitat loss due to Agriculture & Pastoral activities.
- Poaching which means illegal hunting and capturing of animals.
- Civil wars
- Different diseases like Polio, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis and Intestinal parasites. The main disease which is responsible for their endangerment is Ebola virus disease.
- Human interaction which become the cause of transformation of human diseases to gorillas.
- Disease transferred through domestic animals and livestock.
- Industrial mining
- Snares made for other animals.
- Increasing human population
- Climate change
- Oil palm plantation in the gorilla inhabited areas.
- Climate change such as increasing temperature.
Why Are Western Lowland Gorillas Endangered – Why Is The Cross River Gorilla Endangered
- In 2008, western Lowland Gorillas were categorized as ‘Critically Endangered species’ by International Union For Conservation Of Nature(IUCN).
- In just seven years, from 2005 to 2013, their occurred a decrease of 18.75% in their population which means 2.56% decrease annually.
- According to a survey 80% reduction was reported in three generations. One generation gap is 22 years. It is predicted that the declination rate will exceed 80 % in the next three generations i.e. 66 years.
- The Cross River Gorilla is a sub specie of Western Lowland gorillas.
- There are only 200 to 300 species of Cross River Gorilla living in wild.
- In just 15 years, from 1995 to 2010, their population declined by 59%.
Western Lowland Gorillas are endangered due to:
1. Pet Trade
- Pet trade is also a reason for its endangerment. They are captured and sold for high prices in black market to be used as pet.
2. Low Reproductive Rate
- They give birth to just one baby at a time which make it difficult to cover the loss made to its number.
- Poaching means illegal hunting. Till 1991 the forests were Roadless, there was no entrance to gorilla inhabited areas but after 1991 roads made by the industrial miners gave easy access to hunter to hunt these gorillas.
- Ebola virus also played a great role in the decreasing the population of these gorillas. Ebola virus started in 1994 and destroyed ¾ population in the protected areas where gorillas were safe from poaching.
5. Oil Palm Plantation
- About 73.8% area inhabited by these gorillas is very favorable for oil palm plantation due to rain, temperature and soil. So the local people are erasing forests to plant oil palm in the area, thus destroying the gorilla habitat.
6. Climate Change
Why Is The Eastern Gorilla Endangered
- In 1996, Eastern Lowland Gorillas were categorized as ‘Critically Endangered species’ by International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- Eastern Lowland Gorillas are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Northwest Rwanda and Southwest Uganda. These were the center of Africa’s world war. So these gorillas also become the victim of war.
- Their life was greatly affected by human activities through different ways.
- Back in 1994 there were 17,000 Eastern lowland gorillas in the wild which reduced to 3800 in 2015. In 21 years their population has declined by 77%. It is estimated that if such decline in their number continues, so by 2054 there will be 94% decrease in its population.
Eastern Gorillas are endangered due to:
1. Habitat Loss
- Gorilla are losing their habitat due to increasing human population which result in demand for more agricultural and pastoral activities.
2. Civil unrest
- Civil unrest in the area of gorilla habitat is also one of the prime reason for Eastern Gorillas endangerment. Refugees, internally displaced people and armed forces get shelter in these forests and affects the life of this specie. Around 69% armed forces have taken shelter in these forests which has affected the lives of these gorillas up to great extent.
3. Climate Change
- Climate change has also played a role in the endangerment of this specie like increasing temperature, modified rainfall affects the food quantity in the area.
- Various diseases like respiratory viruses, simplex virus, Ebola virus, malaria and human herpes transferred to them from humans due to increased human interaction is also one of the major cause of their endangerment.
- Illegal hunting of these gorillas is one of the main reasons for its endangerment. Scarcity of affordable domestic meat in rural areas also a reason for high poaching rate.
- Mines set by the rebels and armed forces also took lives of hundreds of Eastern Gorillas.
7. Commercial Trade
The young Eastern Gorillas are hunted for commercial trade. While capturing the young ones the elder ones also get killed or hurt.
Why Are Mountain Gorillas Endangered
- Mountain Gorilla is a sub specie of Eastern Lowland Gorillas.
- In 2000 they were categorized as endangered species by the IUCN.
- According to a survey made by IUCN there are only 880 individuals alive which live in two isolated population, one population is in Uganda and the other is in Rwanda . the distance between the two population is 25 miles occupied by humans.
- Back in 2007 their population reduced by 2%. It is estimated that there will be 25% reduction in their population by the next generation gap i.e. 20 years.
Mountain Gorillas are endangered due to:
- It is the . main reason behind its endangerment. They are hunted for different purposes. Their heads, hands, and feet and other bones are sold for high prices in the black market.
- Abduction of infants for selling to zoos and as a pet is also a reason for its endangerment. One infants price in black market ranges from $1000 to $5000. While catching the younger ones the elder also get hurt and sometime loss their body parts.
3. Habitat loss
- It is also a big reason behind its endangerment. Rapidly increasing human population and their settlement in the mountain gorillas habituated area is also affecting their lives at a great extent.
- Diseases like Ebola virus also took the lives of hundreds of Mountain Gorillas. Many diseases are also transferred to them from humans due to regular human contact with them. Domestic animals and live stock is also a reason for the transformation of many diseases to them.
5. War and Civil Unrest
- War has also a big part in the endangerment of this specie. Refugees takes shelter in the area where these gorillas are settled. The refugees cut trees to settle in the area and to build farms.
- They are also hunted for getting the meat from their body by the locals.
- Land mines spread over in the area also took the lives of many Mountain Gorillas. Spares made for trapping other animals also trap these gorillas and result in death or injury of these Mountain Gorillas.
- Agricultural and pastoral activities by the locals are increasing day by day which result in deforestation which affects the lives of this specie very badly.