Western lowland gorillas have been ravaged by the Ebola virus and threatened by commercial hunters, and their numbers have declined at a disturbing rate—down over 50 percent since the 1990s. In 2007 their status has changed from endangered to critically endangered. To counter the threat of the Ebola virus, Peter Walsh of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and others have been working on a vaccine that will prevent the transmission of the virus from one gorilla to another. Their website has information on their projects and the gorillas.
WCS partners with indigenous groups, private sector industries and national governments throughout Central Africa to reduce threats to the Western Lowland Gorilla. They deploy a variety of strategies including law enforcement, education and outreach, capacity building, and ecological, behavioral, and gorilla health monitoring. Contributions to support these efforts can be made online; please specify that your donation is for western lowland gorillas.
In the Central African Republic, WWF is conducting studies, training guards and supporting nature clubs and environmental education. It also sponsors a sustainable ecotourism site, employing local residents as a way to reduce the pressure to poach or to buy bush-meat. Contributions to WWF can be directed to the Sangha Tri National Trust Fund.