Native to Nigeria and Cameroon, the Cross River gorilla is the most endangered of the great apes, and the Wildlife Conservation Society is working to bring it back.
Since beginning field research in 1999, it has made some interesting discoveries, including finding the first evidence of tool use among gorillas (they test the waters with a stick to check depth before crossing) and they also recently documented the use of weaponry to repel humans (they toss sticks and clumps of grass at the intruders).
Only 300 individual Cross River gorillas remain, making it the most endangered of the four gorilla sub-species.
Although originally discovered in the early 1900s, the Cross River gorilla was thought to be extinct until its recent rediscovery in the 1980s. The remaining gorillas are believed to be dispersed in forested highlands along the Nigerian-Cameroon border, where pressure on forests for farming and logging, and on gorillas for bushmeat, is intense.
The Wildlife Conservation Society plans new surveys, partially funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with the aim of cataloging all potential gorilla habitat in the two African nations.
For more information about the gorilla, including an action plan for safeguarding it, visit the Wildlife Conservation Society Web site.
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