How many Gorillas are left?
Until 1989, the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes were encountered regularly, therefore their numbers were pretty well known. However, in general it is not possible to count gorillas directly, as they are far too shy. In this case, researchers have to resort to the traces they leave, mainly their nests, in order to calculate population numbers. To do this, researchers walk along pre-determined, straight lines (so-called transects) through the forest and record all gorilla nests visible from the transect.
In the following table, the most recent estimates of population sizes are given.
Numbers of gorillas in various populations
The numbers of most populations are not known, and it is very difficult to give valid numbers. Recently, the number of gorillas has been cut severely by bushmeat hunting and Ebola. All gorilla species and subspecies are endangered or critically endangered according to the IUCN Red Data List.