The rare mountain gorillas of Africa have been increasing and the more that we can do to conserve the habitat and lives on these animals, the better the outlook for their survival.
A recent survey recorded 604 mountain gorillas in the Virunga Massif which includes Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This is the largest number of the subspecies ever recorded in the area. It is estimated that more than 1,000 mountain gorillas are now living in the wild between these areas and Uganda’s in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The last estimated count reported was 880.
The increase in mountain gorillas inhabiting the Virunga Massif is attributed to the effectiveness of conservation policies, strategies, notably regulated tourism, daily protection and veterinary interventions, intensive law enforcement, community conservation projects, and transboundary collaboration among government institutions and NGO actors.
Further, these results are a testament to the tireless effort of the rangers and trackers who daily protect and monitor mountain gorillas and their habitat, including those that have been killed in the line of.
It is also important to recognize the role of the communities that live in close proximity to these national parks who co-exist with mountain gorillas and contribute to conservation efforts.
The two populations of mountain gorillas remain small and vulnerable to a potential rapid decline due to factors such as their limited habitat, climate change, dependency on resources in the park by people, and the risk of disease transmission.
The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration calls upon all conservation institutions and organizations and in fact all individuals, to join efforts to conserve mountain gorillas and their habitat for future generations.
To find out what it is like to experience these amazing mountain gorillas read our editor, Kate’s, experience with the gorillas in Uganda here.
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