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Silverback gorilla - endangered species or not?

Firstly, to clarify, 'Silverback' is not a species of gorilla, but simply refers to adult male members of the genus Gorilla. This is due to the growth of silver-coloured hair across their backs and hips that naturally occurs from around the age of twelve.

The image of a mighty Silverback Gorilla beating his chest is an iconic symbol that is often used as a representation of the plight of endangered species in Africa and the wider world. But is the Gorilla an endangered species?

The genus Gorilla is divided into two distinct species: eastern gorillas and western gorillas, which can be further divided into either four or five subspecies, depending on the classification.
These incredible ground-dwelling great apes are found in the tropical forests along the equator in Africa. These apes are extremely close to humans, genetically speaking, sharing between 95 and 99% of our DNA.

With both species classified by the IUCN as critically endangered, largely due to deforestation and poaching, they have become one of the world's most important, flagship conservation projects.

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Deforestation and poaching - global threats to biodiversity

Deforestation and Poaching are two of the major causes of declining biodiversity across the world and, whilst their threat to species such as Gorillas is obvious, their negative impact has a much larger reach.

Reversing global biodiversity loss trends

DGB is committed to halting and reversing the rate of deforestation and, with a focus on biodiversity and the protection and creation of habitats, we want to ensure that there is a place for every creature from the mighty Silverback Gorilla to Endangered Species of insects. Healthy, biodiverse ecosystems need to flourish in order to protect the world's most incredible and iconic creatures and harnessing the powers of free market forces is an essential part of global efforts to do just this.

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