18% increase of mountain gorillas in the virunga massif

18% increase of mountain gorillas in the virunga massif

Following the recent mountain gorilla census, the released results show mountain gorillas in the virunga massif have increased to 604 individuals from 480 in 2010. The virunga massif comprises of volcanoes national park, virunga national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda. This puts the total number of the mountain gorillas in the world at 1004 including the 400 Individuals of Bwindi national park. It is expected the population will increase after conducting census in Bwindi following recent birth since 2011 when census was last held.

The Virunga Massif mountain gorilla census was conducted by the Protected Area Authorities in the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda under the Trans boundary framework of the Greater Virunga trans boundary collaboration .The census exercise was supported by the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, Gorilla Doctors, and North Carolina Zoo.

The increase in number of mountain gorillas is attributed to special conservation strategies and improved census techniques. This figure released at Serena hotel Rubavu by authorities from Rwanda, Congo and Uganda were confirmed through genetic testing of fecal samples removed from the nests, and the genetic analysis helps eliminate the accidental double-counting of mountain gorillas as well as actual population growth. More importantly, it offers the most reliable results and now the population estimate is at 1004 form 880 mountain gorillas in the world since 2011.

Despite the increase in number of mountain gorillas, they still remain critically endangered and vulnerable to harsh conditions like poaching and habitant loss, exposure to human diseases like Tuberculosis, pneumonia and climate changes and other snares set for other forest animals but could also harm mountain gorillas. Special dedication must continue in conserving the mountain gorillas, empowering and sensitizing the local communities about dangers of poaching and benefits of wild life to the neighboring communities in the park who play a big role to the survival of these apes in the forests.

Today we celebrate the special efforts of conservation teams put up in protection ensuring survival of these gentle African giants, the consented effort of dedicated gorilla doctors, international conservation organizations , NGO’s, local communities, trackers and rangers who adhere tough conditions in the jungle and some have lost in the battle to protect these endangered species.
Routine census is therefore required to monitor mountain gorilla’s survival, if they are increasing or decreasing since a quite number of tourists come in to see the mountain gorilla in their natural habitat.