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Retraction Note: Exploring the potential effect of COVID-19 on an endangered great ape

The Original Article was published on 21 October 2021

Retraction of: Scientific Reports, published online 21 October 2021

The Authors have retracted this Article.

It was brought to our attention that we had made an error in our simulation study of the potential effect of SARS-CoV-2 on a subpopulation of the Virunga mountain gorilla population. Specifically, instead of using human infection fatality rates (IFRs) as a reference for our simulations, we used case fatality rates (CFRs) from studies published early during the pandemic in Wuhan, China, and Italy, adjusted to the longevity of the mountain gorillas. Case fatality rates, particularly those early during the pandemic, have since been found to be considerably higher than the actual infection fatality rates. After repeating our analyses with this updated information and using the adjusted CFRs instead of IFRs, we found that our published results significantly overestimated the chances of extinction of the population should a COVID-19 outbreak occur. Although the revised findings are important for mountain gorilla conservation, they substantially change the conclusions of the study. In light of these important discrepancies, we deem it necessary to retract this study.

All Authors agree with this retraction and its wording.

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Correspondence to Fernando Colchero.

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This article has been retracted. Please see the retraction notice for more detail:

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Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

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Colchero, F., Eckardt, W. & Stoinski, T. Retraction Note: Exploring the potential effect of COVID-19 on an endangered great ape. Sci Rep 12, 1624 (2022).

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