According to results just released, the mountain gorilla population living in the Virunga mountains has grown— from 480 in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016! Combined with a separate mountain gorilla population living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, this brings the number of mountain gorillas to more than 1,000 individuals.
This reconfirms the mountain gorilla’s status as the only wild ape population whose numbers are known to be increasing, and research shows the increase is due to the type of intensive daily protection provided by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the park authorities of Rwanda (Rwanda Development Board), Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Today’s announcement represents a huge success for conservation at a time when such success stories are increasingly rare. All those working to protect mountain gorillas — the governments of Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo; conservation organizations; and local communities — have a lot to be proud of,” says Dr. Tara Stoinski, President and CEO/Chief Scientific Officer of the Fossey Fund.
Research has shown that the consistent increase in the mountain gorilla population is a result of the intensive daily protection provided by the national park authorities of the respective countries and conservation organizations, like the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
However, due to small numbers and the high level of threats, which include limited habitat, snares set for other animals, disease, and climate change, continued protection of the mountain gorilla population is crucial and must continue, says Dr. Stoinski.