The two gorilla species can be found in equatorial Africa. They are the Western Gorilla, consisting of the Western Lowland Gorilla and Cross River Gorilla, and the Eastern Gorilla, comprising the Mountain Gorilla and Eastern Lowland Gorilla.
All types of gorillas in Africa are endangered, primarily due to human activity such as poaching, disease transmission, and habitat destruction. Ultimately, human poverty is one of the greatest threats to the gorilla population. Gorillas live in countries in Africa with some of the highest population densities and lowest adult life spans, literacy rates, and standards of living in the world. The challenges that such intense poverty brings to gorilla conservation vary depending on where in Africa the gorillas live.
Western gorillas, which inhabit five west African countries from Nigeria to the Republic of Congo, are primarily threatened by illegal hunting for food, habitat loss from logging, and disease - specifically the Ebola virus, which has a roughly 95% mortality rate in gorillas. Eastern gorillas are found only in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are not generally hunted for food but are primarily threatened by habitat loss when their forests are converted to farmland and pasture; local civil unrest; poachers’ snares set for other animals such as antelope; respiratory and other diseases probably transmitted by humans; and poaching for the gorilla infant trade.
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