Ape conservation efforts appear to be working, as the density of gorillas found in Deng Deng nearly equals that for Gabon's Lopé National Park and Congo's Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park.
Deng Deng National Park was created in just 2010. One of many reasons for its creation was to protect the gorillas from deadly Ebola epidemics that have wiped out other great ape populations in Central Africa. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List now classifies gorillas as being "critically endangered," mentioning the disease threats, along with problems related to hunting, habitat loss, habitat degradation due to human activities (from agriculture, timber extraction, mining) and possibly climate change.
Deng Deng therefore provides a rare haven for gorillas and other animals to thrive. Chimpanzees, elephants, buffaloes and a reddish-brown antelope known as the bongo also occur in this protected area.
Roger Fotso, director of WCS's Cameroon Program, concluded: "For a small area, this is an extremely important site for gorilla conservation. It is also important because this is the northern-most population of western lowland gorillas, and because it is accessible to the capital Yaoundé and so a possible future site for tourism."