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Are Gorillas Endangered in 2023?

Great apes are one of our closest living relatives, but are gorillas endangered? Here's what's putting the mighty primate at risk.

are gorillas endangered
Written by
Calin Van Paris
It's nearly impossible to look at gorillas without appreciating their human-like qualities. In fact, the
shares more than
98% of their genetic code
with us, making their displays of emotion, opposable thumbs, and familiar faces a sensical reality.
Gorillas are the largest living primates, their intimidating stature tempered by their
largely vegetarian diets
, which help promote biodiversity within the forests they call home. But are gorillas endangered?
Native to Africa, gorillas can live up to
40 years in the wild
, with slow breeding habits that make recovery from population decline a difficult feat. The primates do face a number of challenges, including disease, hunting, and habitat loss due to
climate change
Here’s everything you need to know about what's threatening gorillas and what you can do to help.

Are Gorillas Endangered in 2023?

are gorillas endangered
Yes, gorillas are listed as "Critically Endangered" by the
. Both species and their respective subspecies share the same designation, with populations steadily decreasing.
  • Eastern Gorilla: Critically Endangered
  • Western Gorilla: Critically Endangered

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What Is Threatening Gorillas?

1. Disease

Ebola has long posed a threat to gorillas—according to
, scientists in 2003 estimated that 1/3 of the entire population had been killed by the virus. Gorillas are also susceptible to human diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and more.

2. Hunting 

Africa's bushmeat trade finds gorillas hunted for consumption in urban centers, where the meat is considered something of a luxury.

3. Habitat Loss

Human development—particularly logging—poses a great threat to the gorilla's natural habitat, especially given that only
17% of their home
is currently protected.

How Can We Help Gorillas?

There are a number of conservation working to protect our planet's remaining gorilla populations. Here are some steps you can take to help save the gorillas.

1. Buy Sustainable Products

To help protect the gorilla's habitat (and that of many other animals), avoid products with
palm oil
, and always opt for sustainable formulation and packaging.

2. Donate to Conservationists

Even a small donation to organizations on the ground can go a long way. Check out the
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
and the
African Wildlife Foundation
to get started.

3. Recycle Electronics

The metals found in many common electronics
are mined
in the Democratic Republic of Congo, posing a threat to gorillas and their diminishing habitat. Minimize your consumption by
recycling old electronics
, or using them for as long as possible.