5 Ways to Help Save Gorillas 

Anyone can make a significant impact on gorilla conservation through simple actions.

By: Alexandra J. Reddy

Protecting majestic gorillas and their habitats in Africa doesn’t require living nearby; anyone can make a significant impact through simple actions. In this article, we explore how you can contribute to gorilla conservation, whether by supporting organizations like the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) in rescuing orphan gorillas and protecting their habitats, recycling electronics to reduce habitat-destroying mineral demand, or taking a strong stance against great ape trafficking. Discover how even small steps can lead to substantial change in the article ahead.

1. Learn About and Support Gorilla Conservation Organizations

PASA and many of our member sanctuaries are dedicated to protecting gorillas and their habitats. We are actively addressing the root causes that contribute to the risk of extinction through conservation efforts like orphan gorilla rescues, anti-poaching measures, and community engagement to secure the survival of gorillas.

PASA members caring for gorillas include Ape Action Africa and Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon, Parc de la Lékédi in Gabon, and Projet Protection des Gorilles, which operates in both the Congo and Gabon. Additionally, the Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project in Gabon plays a vital role in gorilla conservation. Remarkably, two of PASA’s member wildlife centers, Projet Protection des Gorilles-Congo and Projet Protection des Gorilles-Gabon, have successfully conducted the first-ever gorilla reintroductions in their respective countries. These achievements mark significant milestones in the ongoing efforts to protect and restore gorilla populations. Learn more about PASA’s member sanctuaries. By dedicating time to educate yourself, raise awareness, and support PASA, you play an active role in preserving gorillas and protecting their habitats.

PASA member Parc de la Lékédi protects gorillas in Gabon. Photo by Roberto García Roa.

2. Recycle Electronics for Gorilla Conservation 

Coltan, a mineral ore found in electronic devices like smartphones and laptops, is linked to serious environmental issues, including the destruction of gorilla habitats in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring regions. Coltan mining often involves clearing vast forested areas. This leads to habitat fragmentation and increased human-wildlife conflict. Illegal coltan mining sometimes occurs within protected areas. This is a direct threat to endangered gorilla populations. 

As mining disrupts gorilla territories, it paves the way for poachers to access these vulnerable populations. Gorillas fall victim to wild meat hunting or may be captured for the illegal wildlife trade. By participating in electronic recycling initiatives and urging companies to guarantee that mining sites are conflict-free and do not engage in wild meat hunting, consumers can make a significant difference in the lives of gorillas. Not only does recycling electronics decrease the demand for coltan, but it also alleviates the pressure on gorilla habitats, minimizing the need for new mineral extraction. Additionally, consumers can advocate for responsible mining practices and support companies that prioritize ethical sourcing of minerals. Through these small yet meaningful actions, individuals can contribute to gorilla conservation.

3. Take a Stand Against Great Ape Trafficking

To protect gorillas and other endangered primates, international agreements like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and domestic laws in various countries provide protection, making it illegal to capture, kill, or trade great apes commercially. Despite these protections, an estimated 3,000 primates continue to be lost from the wild each year due to illegal trafficking. The illegal pet trade has led to population declines in various primate species and other wildlife. Tragically, when hunters capture animals from the wild for the pet trade, entire social groups may be killed in the process. Some are also slaughtered for the wild meat trade. Add your name and pledge to stand by PASA as we campaign against the cruel trade and save lives.

4. Choose Responsibly Sourced Forest Products

Irresponsible logging and clearing of forests for timber or other products can lead to deforestation, which directly impacts gorilla populations. By choosing products that come from sustainably managed forests, where the products are harvested in a way that minimizes damage to forests, you reduce the demand for goods linked to deforestation. 

Illegal logging and forest activities can create easier access for poachers, leading to increased risks of wildlife trafficking and poaching of gorillas. Responsible sourcing helps disrupt illegal activities and protects gorillas from such threats.

Consumer demand for responsibly sourced forest products can encourage businesses to adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. By opting for responsibly sourced forest products, or reducing your consumption of such goods, you can make a difference in protecting gorillas and their natural habitats.

Rainforest logs are hauled out of the forest for export. Photo by M. Harvey, 2002.

5. Become a Primate Protector: Make a Difference with Monthly Donations

Join us in becoming a Primate Protector by making a monthly donation to PASA. Your contribution will ensure that PASA member sanctuaries across Africa can

provide life-saving care to gorillas and other primates in need. Donating monthly is simple and convenient, with regular updates on the impact of your donations, and the freedom to cancel anytime. By giving each month, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are saving innocent lives.

Last year alone, the Alliance rescued over 200 primates. The threats facing gorillas and other African primates, such as wildlife trafficking and deforestation, are very real. With your ongoing support, we can provide immediate assistance to primates rescued from inhumane situations, offering them fresh fruit, vegetables, urgent medical care, and more. Your monthly gift plays a crucial role in ensuring that PASA is always prepared to rescue another animal in need and fight against the biggest threats facing our closest relatives. 

Together, we can make a significant impact in protecting and preserving the lives of gorillas and other primates. Your generosity can be the difference between suffering and hope. Join us as a Primate Protector today.