, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 1129-1137

Newly Discovered Gorilla Population in the Ebo Forest, Littoral Province, Cameroon

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Abstract

We report on a new population of gorillas discovered in November 2002 in the Ebo Forest, Littoral Province, Cameroon. We observed A group of ≥q7 gorillas directly for 83 min, and they were in auditory range for 155 min. Further evidence of gorilla presence included 8 nest groups totaling 38 nests, distinctive feeding signs accompanied by footprints, and a gorilla cranium collected from the nearby village of Iboti. This newly discovered gorilla population is geographically intermediate between the 2 extant populations of western gorillas: Gorilla gorilla gorilla, the most populous gorilla subspecies living in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo-Brazzaville, Central African Republic and Cameroon to the south of the Sanaga River, and G. g. diehli or the Cross River gorilla, a small population of ca. 250 individuals on the Cameroon-Nigeria border. It is not possible to assign the new gorilla population to either subspecies on the basis of measurements of the single male cranium. Genetic analyses of freshly shed hairs, collected from gorilla nests, may help to resolve the taxonomic status of the Ebo gorillas.