By Caleb Jones, The Associated Press 
The world’s largest living primate has been listed as critically endangered, making 4 of the 6 great ape species only one step away from extinction, according to a report released Sunday at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, cited illegal hunting in downgrading the status of the eastern gorilla on its Red List of Endangered Species. The organization said an estimated 5,000 eastern gorillas remain in the wild, a decline of about 70 percent over the past 20 years.
For the gorillas of the Congo, where the majority of the population lives, conservation will be a struggle because of political instability, said primatologist Russell Mittermeier, executive vice chairman of the Conservation International environmental group and chairman of IUCN’s primate group.
“There are no simple solutions right now, other than a much greater investment in on-the-ground protection until the region stabilizes, at which time major ecotourism, as is happening in the neighboring countries of Uganda and Rwanda, can take place,” Mittermeier said in an email to The Associated Press.
 sltrib.com, 5 Sep 201