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 seven 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 2022, thanks to our supporters we have:

  • Removed 1988 snares

  • Conducted 27,435 km of air surveillance

  • Provided healthcare and emergency support to 770+ Rangers and their families

  • 4500+ patrols conducted by foot

  • Patrolled 25,800 km by foot

Support Virunga

  • Virunga Belgium Fund

    Belgium residents can make tax-efficient donations via Virunga Belgium Fund.


  • Virunga Friends Fund

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


  • Virunga Clothing Store

    Shop Virunga merchandise.