Mountain gorilla numbers rise

2012-11-14 13:36

The world's population of mountain gorillas has increased by more than 10% in two years, new census figures show.

The Guardian reports that a survey carried out in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable national park has found that numbers of the critically endangered species, Gorilla beringei beringei, have risen from an estimated 786 in 2010 to 880 today.

Mountain gorillas, a subspecies of the eastern lowland gorilla, once faced such severe threats, including war, habitat destruction and disease, that they were expected to become extinct by the end of the 20th century. Instead, the population has increased significantly in the past 30 years, and it is thought to be due to conservation efforts that had successfully engaged the local community.

Drew McVey, species programme manager at WWF-UK, who supported the census as part of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme said that conservation now balanced species survival against the needs of an incredibly poor area with high population pressures, for example, tackling the loss of gorilla habitat due to the illegal collection of firewood by providing the community with access to alternative energy sources.

Mountain gorillas live in only two locations in the world - Bwindi in south-west Uganda and the Virunga Massif, a range of extinct volcanoes on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.

Read more on:    animals  |  travel international

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.