Without our help, this population will not survive.

  • Only 7 lowland gorillas remain in the Park

  • The global population has plummeted to fewer than 6,000 individuals

  • Listed as critically endangered

  • Insecurity and encroachment on Mt. Tshiaberimu have pushed Virunga's population to the brink

  • Restoring and protecting habitats is essential to their survival

Protect & Preserve

Eastern lowland gorillas are close cousins of the mountain gorilla and are found only in the lowland rainforests of eastern DRC. Despite being completely protected by national laws and international conventions, they have experienced a serious decline in the last two decades and are consequently listed as critically endangered. The largest living primate, their global population has plunged from an estimated 17,000 individuals to fewer than 6,000 today and they continue to experience a rate of decline of 5% per year. The decimation of the eastern lowland gorilla population is due mainly to illegal hunting for bushmeat associated with artisanal mining camps. Young infants are also taken for commercial trade. 

Restoring Habitats

The population of eastern lowland gorillas on Mt. Tshiaberimu is cut off from the larger global population to the west of the park. Years of insecurity and encroachment have pushed the Mt. Tshiaberimu population to the brink. In the 1990s, there were an estimated 25 lowland gorillas in this area. As of 2021, only six individuals remain–effectively rendering Mt. Tshiaberimu gorillas the smallest population of gorillas in the world. Without intervention, this population will not survive. 

The protection and preservation of Mt. Tshiaberimu’s ecosystems and the critically important wildlife that reside there is a major priority for Virunga National Park. As long as its habitats are restored and protected, and poaching eradicated, there is every reason to believe that its resident eastern lowland gorilla population could be saved from extinction.

In 2021, thanks to our supporters we have:

  • Removed 1260 snares

  • Conducted 24,000 km of air surveillance

  • Patrolled 65,000 km by foot

  • Provided healthcare and emergency support to 620 rangers and their families

  • Trained 150 new rangers

Make A Donation

US residents can make donations via Virunga Friends Fund at CAF America.

(Donations made via this link are eligible for tax exemption from the US government to the extent provided by applicable law.)

Belgian residents can make donations directly to the our Belgium bank account.

(Donations to this account are eligible to benefit from the Belgian Government’s charitable giving tax credit treatment to the extent provided by applicable law.)

Donate crypto to Virunga National Park

We accept the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Zcash (ZEC), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Chainlink (LINK), 0x (ZRX), Storj (STORJ), Dai (DAI), Amp (AMP).

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