Morning and evening foods include chow, greens, fruits and vegetables. Mothers can be seen supporting the infants for the first few months of life. Kojo was born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in November 2001. In 2018, researchers surveying the gorillaâs range made an uplifting announcement: Their study found 361,900 western lowland gorillasâa third more than previously had been estimated. As the most widespread gorilla subspecies, the western lowland gorilla can be found across more than 270,000 square miles of central and West Africaâincluding Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, and the Republic of the Congo. They wake up just after sunrise to search for food and eat for several hours. The silverback has exclusive mating rights with the adult females in his group. The face only has hair along the brow bridge. Short, thin, gray-black to brown-black hair covers the entire body except the face. They have been plagued by exceptionally high levels of disease and hunting, which has resulted in a population decline of over sixty percent in the past 20 to 25 years. Kibibi is an adult female who resides in the gorilla troop with Baraka, Mandara, Calaya and Moke. Native to the Congo Basin, the western lowland gorilla is a quiet, peaceful and nonaggressive animal threatened by disease and poaching. Scientists have heard up to 22 different gorilla vocalizations, each seeming to have its own meaning. In addition to having distinctive fingerprints like humans do, gorillas also have unique nose prints. View our inclusive approach to conservation. Though western lowland gorillas are protected by national and international laws, historically enforcement has been weak. Of the two subspecies, the western lowland gorilla is more numerous. These behaviors are natural, though not to humans. As females become sexually mature, they transfer family groups or join lone males. Support organizations like the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute that research better ways to protect and care for this animal and other endangered species. Central Africa is home to not only gorillas, but also the deadly Ebola virus. Though present historically in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are now likely extinct there. They also have wider skulls with more pronounced brow ridges and smaller ears. The toll has been even greater in some areas, such as the Minkébé Forest—once considered one of the most important populations—where the virus may have killed more than 90% of the region’s gorillas and chimpanzees. World Wildlife Fund Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax ID number 52-1693387) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In comparison to the mountain gorilla, the western lowland gorilla has a wider and larger skull, and their big toe is spread apart more from the alignment of the other four toes. The western lowland gorilla is the most numerous and widespread of all gorilla subspecies. Gorillas are primarily herbivorous, eating the leaves and stems of herbs, shrubs and vines. Though gorillas can stand upright, they prefer traveling on all fours, pushing themselves forward with their knuckles and soles of their feet. Regurgitation and reingestion involves an animal regurgitating some of its food and re-eating it. It's also the only subspecies of gorilla kept in zoos, with few exceptions. Gorillas are the largest of the primates. Normally quiet animals, some gorillas are notably loud during copulation. Make it the topic of your next school project, or start a conservation club at your school. Calaya is an adult female who resides in the gorilla troop with Baraka, Mandara, Kibibi and Moke. Infants nest with their mothers. Black backs also leave their birth family, but instead of entering a new family group, they can live alone or in all male groups until a young female chooses one of them to start a family. You can help us by donating to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s Emergency Fund today. Short, thin, gray-black to brown-black hair covers the entire body except the face. The gorilla's coat color is black. Adopt a western lowland gorilla to give the perfect gift to the conservationist in your life — even if that conservationist is you! Simply raising awareness about this species can contribute to its overall protection. Consider. Troops are led by one dominant, older adult male, often called a silverback because of the swath of silver hair that adorns his otherwise dark fur. An adult male protecting his group may attempt to intimidate his aggressor by standing on his legs and slapping its chest with cupped or flat hands while roaring and screaming. Such groups are composed of at least one male, several females and their offspring. Coprophagy allows an animal to utilize this food. The interbirth interval is usually four and a half years. The Ebola virus has likely spread throughout much of the western lowland gorilla’s range. The Western lowland gorilla is the most widely prevalent among the gorilla subspecies and these mainly live in the tropical forests of Western Africa and central Africa and can leave up to 40 years within their wild natural habitat. Adult female gorillas also have these crests, but they are much less pronounced. But data seems to indicate that western lowland gorillas live in smaller groups, averaging about five individuals. WWF has long worked with local BaAka trackers as part of the habituation program, capitalizing on their knowledge of their forest homeland and their ability to locate the gorillas even when traces of the animals are elusive. Western gorillas live in groups that vary in size from two to twenty individuals. Large numbers have not protected the western lowland gorilla from decline. Adult males weigh an average of 300 pounds (136.1 kilograms) and up to 500 pounds (226.8 kilograms). Mandara is an adult female who resides in the gorilla troop with Baraka, Calaya, Kibibi and Moke. In comparison to the mountain gorilla, th… We're excited to welcome you back to the Zoo, and we've made a few changes. The leader organizes troop activities, such as eating, nesting in leaves, and moving about the group's home range. She is full of energy and often plays with the other members of her troop. Here's everything you need to know before you visit. Fresh tree trimmings are given daily. In human care, gorillas may live into their 50s. Gorillas are flexible in their nature and behavior. 1250 24th Street, N.W. The two troops alternate indoor and outdoor space, depending on the time of day and the weather. Speak up for species and places through WWF's Action Center. Tourism dollars are a key part of forest and gorilla protection in this region. He is the youngest gorilla at the Zoo. Adult male gorillas' heads look conical due to the large bony crests on the top and back of the skull. Fast Facts: Western Lowland Gorilla Through these programs, tourists are able to view western lowland gorillas while local communities benefit from programs for rural development and sustainable natural resource use. Join us to make change. She is reproductive throughout her lifetime and does not experience menopause. Western lowland gorillas may have a more brownish coloration. However, males do fight over females, and the new leader of a group may kill unrelated infants. Some examples of gorilla "body language" include crouching low and approaching from the side when being submissive; walking directly when confident and standing, slapping their chests and advancing when aggressive. They interact using grooming behaviors, although less than most other primates. Thus, the information found here is only a general guide. She earned the nickname “Super Mom” due to having six offspring: Kejana, Kigali, Ktembe, Kwame, Kojo and Kibibi. Their considerable size gives them a good defence against predators and they live in relative safety on the ground, more so than any other primate. He is one of the Zoo’s most playful gorillas and often demonstrates a mix of adult and juvenile behaviors. They can crawl and ride on their mothers' backs at 3 months old. There is no set time of year for gorilla births. Experts believe that the Ebola virus may have killed as much as a third of western lowland gorillas in the early 2000s. Juveniles are more apt to nest in trees. Like other primates, each individual has distinctive fingerprints. WWF and its partners are working to establish a network of protected areas across the Congo Basin and are promoting development of logging and mining industries that are well managed both ecologically and socially. Mature silverback males have a saddle of white hair across the small of their backs. Females eat about two-thirds of that amount. Gorillas communicate using auditory signals, visual signals and odors. The reproductive success of males depends upon the maintenance of exclusive rights to adult females. Because of poaching and disease, the gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years. In western lowland gorillas, the silver may extend to rump and thighs. Even if all of the threats to western lowland gorillas were removed, scientists calculate that the population would require some 75 years to recover. Forest loss is a twofold threat: It destroys gorilla habitat, and it clears the way for people who hunt gorillas for bushmeat. Mature offspring typically leave their birth group to find a mate. It is thought that size plays an important role in determining the winner of an encounter between males, with the larger male winning. Forty percent of the money from park entry fees at Dzanga Sangha, for example, is dedicated to programs in the local community that promote rural development and sustainable use of natural resources. As Liz Williamson, great apes coordinator for the IUCN told the Guardian at the time, âOur study has revealed that it is not too late to secure a future for gorillas.â, Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark. This causes the females to begin cycling sooner. You'll learn even more and share the importance of saving species with classmates and teachers, too. They eat roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, and tree bark and pulp. The Zoo is home to six western lowland gorillas that reside at the Great Ape House: Baraka is an adult male, or silverback, who resides in the gorilla troop with Mandara, Calaya, Kibibi and Moke. Because of gorilla variability, some or all of these behaviors may or may not be seen. However, they usually spend a few years as bachelor males. The silverback mediates disputes and also determines the group's home range. Gorillas are most active in the morning and late afternoon. He is the largest member of our gorilla troop, weighing-in at more than 400 pounds. Western lowland gorillas are the smallest of the four sub-species. She is very socially savvy with the other gorilla members. Western lowland gorillas are the smallest of the four gorilla subspecies, which also include the Cross River gorillas, Grauer’s gorillas, and mountain gorillas.