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Track the Gorillas

Collecting information about gorilla group movements is critical to learning more about them, including assessing their habitat requirements, energy expenditure, feeding competition and more.

Hand drawn gorilla tracking maps

Dian’s Hand-Drawn Maps

Dian Fossey began collecting data on how the gorillas used the forest through hand-drawn maps she made of the volcanoes. She also recorded information on the vegetation and how it varied throughout the forest.

(Image: Dian’s hand-drawn ranging maps from Mount Visoke 1967-69).

Using Modern Technology to Track Gorillas

Since 1999, Fossey Fund teams have gathered gorilla ranging data digitally through the use of satellite data. The gorillas are not tagged in any way. Instead, because our trackers are with them every day, we use GPS devices to gather location information. Click below to track the mountain gorillas.

Tracking Grauer’s Gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we also use satellite information to track the critically endangered Grauer’s gorillas. However, because these gorillas are not habituated to the presence of human observers, our teams follow them one day behind, using signs such as feeding remains and night nests to determine their movements. 

The video to the left, which represents 20 weeks of daily movement of one Grauer’s group monitored by our teams, shows the significantly larger distances covered by Grauer’s gorillas as compared to mountain gorillas.

Our teams also set up remote camera traps to monitor the gorillas and other animals in the area.