Eastern lowland Gorillas

The eastern lowland gorillas also known as Grauer’s gorillas is a subspecies of eastern gorilla’s endemic found to the mountainous forest of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. They live in the Kahuzi –Biega and Maiko National Parks adjacent their forest to the Tayna Gorilla Reserve, the Usala forest and on the Itombwe Massif.

These species are the largest of the four gorilla subspecies, with hair shorter on the head and body. The male species have a coat like that of other gorillas, they become grey when they mature resulting into designation of ‘’Silverback’’.

Population Census –Eastern lowland Gorillas

According to a 2004, the eastern lowland census was reported only 5,000 individuals in the wild, later the population grew down to fewer than 3,800 in 2016, compared to over 100,000 western lowland gorillas. From our side their native range, only one female eastern lowland gorillas live in captivity outside the country in the ‘’Antwerp Zoo ‘’ in Belgium.

Eastern lowland Gorillas –Description

They are the largest substance of gorillas and the largest living primates.

Male-Eastern lowland gorillas weigh between 150 and 209 kilograms based on other four male species.

Female lowland gorillas weight 76 kilograms and have a small size.

Male lowland gorillas stand between 1.69 to 1.96 meters while females have 1.6metres.

Habitat and ecology

Gorillas spend long hours feeding on plant every day.

Groups of eastern lowland gorillas are usually larger than those of western gorillas.

They have the widest altitudinal range of any of the gorilla subspecies being found in mountainous and tropical forests.

The eastern lowland gorilla’s population lives in the highland of Kahuzi Biega National Park, their habitats vary between dense primary forests to moderately moist woodland.

Eastern lowland gorillas have a varied diet including leaves, fruits, stems, bark as well as small insect like ants and termites. They occasionally eat insects that form only a minor part of their diet.

Behaviors-Eastern Lowland Species

lowland gorillas are very peaceful subspecies, living in groups of two to over 30.

A group of lowland consists of one silverback, several females and their offspring.

The silverbacks are stronger and each group has one dominant leader known as Alpha male. They provide protection to their group from danger.

Eastern lowland Gorillas
Eastern Lowland Gorillas

The young silverback males will slowly begin to leave their natal group in order to reach maturity, which then attracts females to form their own group.

Females lowland usually join another group while males stay together temporarily till they attract females and later form their own groups.

Eastern Lowland –Reproduction

A female lowland give birth to a single infant after a gestation period of about 8 month and half.

Their baby can crawl at around nine weeks old and can walk at period of about 35 weeks old.

The infant gorillas unusually stay with their mother for three to four years and becomes mature at the age of 8 years old ‘females and males take 12 years.

Threats –Eastern Lowland Gorillas

The reason as to why gorilla’s population decrease in number it’s because of live threatening they face including poaching, civil unrest as well as the destruction of gorilla nature habitat through mining, agriculture and logging.

Historically, the scientists estimated that the population of eastern lowland gorillas declined by more than 50%since the year of 1990s when their population numbered 17,000. This was because of civil unrest that had happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo that affected both the lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas. Due to the unrest, the gorillas have been vulnerable to poaching hence leading to decline in number of the eastern lowland gorillas. The eastern lowland gorilla are species of Kahuzi- Biega National Park Congo. Congo gorilla trekking permit goes at USD400 per trek per person. You can fly in Democratic Republic of Congo through Goma Airport.

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