Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Behavioural ecology and group cohesion of juvenile western lowland gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla) during rehabilitation in the Batéké Plateaux National Park, Gabon

Published source details

Le Flohic G., Motsch P., DeNys H., Childs S., Courage A. & King T. (2015) Behavioural ecology and group cohesion of juvenile western lowland gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla) during rehabilitation in the Batéké Plateaux National Park, Gabon. PLoS ONE, 10


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide additional sleeping platforms/nesting sites for primates Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in a tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that the majority of reintroduced western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were provided with nesting platforms along with ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Four (80%) out of five juvenile gorillas survived for at least nine months after release. They spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms and nesting material (Aframomum sp.). Gorillas were supplemented with additional food and water. Three captive-bred and two orphaned wild-born individuals were reintroduced as a group into habitat with predators and without resident gorillas after they were allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions for some time. Gorillas were dewormed regularly. Caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Provide artificial water sources Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in a tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that the majority of western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were provided with water in night enclosures alongside ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Four out of five (80%) juvenile gorillas survived for at least nine months after release when water was provided daily in their night enclosure. The enclosure was also equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material and supplementary food. Three captive-bred and two orphaned wild born individuals were reintroduced as a group into habitat with predators and without wild gorillas after they were allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions for some time. Gorillas were dewormed regularly on-site. Caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Captive breeding and reintroduction of primates into the wild: limited free-ranging experience Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in a tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that all captive-bred reintroduced western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla along with ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Three hand-reared juvenile gorillas from captive-breeding facilities in the UK were reintroduced into habitat with predators and without resident wild gorillas. They were allowed to adapt to local conditions for some time. They spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material, supplementary food and water. Gorillas were dewormed regularly on-site. Caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Permanent presence of staff/manager Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in a tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that the majority of western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were accompanied by caretakers during the day alongside ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Four (80%) out of five juvenile gorillas survived for at least nine months after release when caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. Three captive-bred and two orphan wild-born individuals were reintroduced as a group into habitat with predators and without resident gorillas after they were allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions for some time. They spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material, supplementary food and water. Gorillas were dewormed regularly on-site. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Remove/treat external/internal parasites to increase reproductive success/survival Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that the majority of western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were treated for internal parasites alongside ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months post-release. Four out of five (80%) juvenile gorillas survived for at least nine months after release when they were dewormed every three months. Three captive-bred and two orphaned wild born individuals were reintroduced as a group into habitat with predators and without wild conspecifics after they were allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions for some time. They spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material, supplementary food and water. Caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Rehabilitate injured/orphaned primates Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in a tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that only one of two confiscated wild-born orphaned western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were rehabilitated before their reintroduction into the wild along with ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. The group was reintroduced into habitat with predators and without resident gorillas. They were allowed to adapt to local conditions and spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material, supplementary food and water. Gorillas were dewormed regularly on-site. Caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates into habitat where the species is absent Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008–2010 in a tropical forest in Gabon found that the majority of western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were reintroduced into habitat where the species was absent, along with ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Four out of five (80%) juvenile gorillas survived for at least nine months after release. Before release gorillas were allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions. Three captive-bred and two orphaned wild born individuals were reintroduced as a group into habitat with predators. Gorillas spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material, supplementary food and water. Gorillas were dewormed regularly on-site. Caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Provide supplementary food for a certain period of time only Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in a tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that the majority of western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were provided with supplementary food for some time along with ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Four (80%) out of five juvenile gorillas survived for at least nine months after release. Depending on their age and ability to feed on forest vegetation, gorillas were either fed milk products developed for human infants, or cereal and milk meals, provided 3 times/day. Three captive-bred and two orphaned wild-born individuals were reintroduced as a group into habitat with predators and without resident wild gorillas after being allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions. They spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material and water. Gorillas were dewormed regularly. Caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates into habitat with predators Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008–2010 in a tropical forest in Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that the majority of western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were reintroduced into habitat with predators along with ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Four of five juvenile gorillas survived for at least nine months after release. One juvenile was killed by a wild chimpanzee. Before reintroduction chimpanzees spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material, supplementary food and water. Three captive-bred and two orphaned wild born individuals were reintroduced as a group into habitat where the species was absent. Gorillas were dewormed regularly on-site. Caretakers guided gorillas into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Allow primates to adapt to local habitat conditions for some time before introduction to the wild Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in a tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that the majority of reintroduced western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were allowed to adapt to local environmental conditions at the release site along with ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Four (80%) out of five juvenile gorillas survived for at least nine months after release when they spent the nights in a 4 x 4 x 3 m3 wooden cage on-site. The enclosure was equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material, supplementary food and water. Gorillas were dewormed regularly on-site. Three captive-bred and two orphaned wild born individuals were reintroduced as a group into habitat with predators and without resident wild gorillas. Caretakers guided them into different forest patches on a daily basis. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates in groups Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2008-2010 in a tropical forest-grassland mosaic at Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon found that the majority of western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla that were reintroduced as a group alongside ten other interventions, survived for at least nine months. Four out of five (80%) juvenile gorillas survived over nine months post-release. After the death of the youngest individual, group cohesion decreased. Three captive-bred and two orphaned wild born individuals were reintroduced into habitat with predators and without resident wild gorillas after they were allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions for some time. They spent the night in an enclosure equipped with nesting platforms, nesting material, supplementary food and water. Gorillas were dewormed regularly on-site. Caretakers guided them daily into different forest patches. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.