The western gorilla is left in only 8 countries in Africa and these are Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
In May 2005, a workshop was held in Brazzaville to establish a strategy to counter the decline in Great Ape populations across western equatorial Africa, and to identify partners and donors who might contribute to the implementation of this strategy.
The expert group included biologists, veterinarians, protected areas managers, government ofﬁcials and representatives of national and international non-governmental organizations.
As part of this strategy, a list of priority areas for Great Ape protection was developed. These priority areas were selected according to criteria such as population size, size of available habitat, and the importance of different sites for biodiversity in general.
This process resulted in a list of sites that were considered to be either ‘Exceptional Areas’ or ‘Important Areas’, while a third category (‘Priority Areas for Surveys’) identified a list of sites which are believed to be very important for ape conservation, but for which population data does not exist. Surveys are thus an urgent priority in these areas.