Cross River Gorillas
Where they live:
Gorilla gorilla diehli
Fewer than 300
Nigeria and Cameroon
Cross River gorillas are similar in appearance to western lowland gorillas, but have a different shaped skull. They tend to have redder or greyer fur than eastern gorillas.
As will all gorillas, Cross River gorillas are sociable and live in groups led by the dominant male (silverback), but their group size tends to be smaller than other subspecies at fewr than six individuals. They are largely herbivorous eating fruit, shoots and leaves.
Critically Endangered (IUCN Red list: A4cd ver 3.1)
Eight small isolated populations, separated by farmland and settlements
Hunting for bushmeat, habitat destruction, disease
Following the 1960s war in Nigeria, Cross River gorillas were thought to be extinct. However, during the 1980s, sightings were recorded and small numbers of the sub-species were rediscovered in Cameroon and Nigeria on the banks of the Cross River. Because they are so vulnerable to poachers, Cross River gorillas have not been habituated, making study more difficult - they were only filmed in the wild for the first time in 2009. Very little is known about this elusive sub-species of gorilla, except that their numbers are small and their highly fragmented environment could threaten their future.