Catastrophic decline of world's largest primate: 80% loss of Grauer's gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) population justifies critically endangered status

Plumptre Andrew J., Nixon Stuart, Kujirakwinja Deo, Vieilledent Ghislain, Critchlow Robert, Williamson Elizabeth A., Nishuli Radar, Kirkby Andrew, Hall Jefferson. 2016. Catastrophic decline of world's largest primate: 80% loss of Grauer's gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) population justifies critically endangered status. PloS One, 11 (10):e0162697, 13 p.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
Published version - Anglais
License CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication.

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Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie; Staps

Abstract : Grauer's gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), the World's largest primate, is confined to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is threatened by civil war and insecurity. During the war, armed groups in mining camps relied on hunting bushmeat, including gorillas. Insecurity and the presence of several militia groups across Grauer's gorilla's range made it very difficult to assess their population size. Here we use a novel method that enables rigorous assessment of local community and ranger-collected data on gorilla occupancy to evaluate the impacts of civil war on Grauer's gorilla, which prior to the war was estimated to number 16,900 individuals. We show that gorilla numbers in their stronghold of Kahuzi-Biega National Park have declined by 87%. Encounter rate data of gorilla nests at 10 sites across its range indicate declines of 82–100% at six of these sites. Spatial occupancy analysis identifies three key areas as the most critical sites for the remaining populations of this ape and that the range of this taxon is around 19,700 km2. We estimate that only 3,800 Grauer's gorillas remain in the wild, a 77% decline in one generation, justifying its elevation to Critically Endangered status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Primate, Espèce en danger, Espèce protégée, Faune, Taxonomie, Distribution géographique, Évaluation de l'impact, Impact sur l'environnement, Guerre

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : République démocratique du Congo

Mots-clés complémentaires : Gorille, Gorilla beringei

Classification Agris : P01 - Nature conservation and land resources
L20 - Animal ecology

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2014-2018) - Sociétés, natures et territoires

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Plumptre Andrew J., Wildlife Conservation Society (USA)
  • Nixon Stuart, North of England Zoological Society (GBR)
  • Kujirakwinja Deo, Wildlife Conservation Society (USA)
  • Vieilledent Ghislain, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (ITA) ORCID: 0000-0002-1685-4997
  • Critchlow Robert, University of New-York (USA)
  • Williamson Elizabeth A., University of Stirling (GBR)
  • Nishuli Radar, ICCN (COG)
  • Kirkby Andrew, Wildlife Conservation Society (USA)
  • Hall Jefferson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (PAN)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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