ONTD Political

Mountain gorilla population rises in Uganda, giving hope for endangered species

3:18 pm - 11/24/2012

The population of Uganda's mountain gorillas has grown to 400, up from 302 in 2006, according to a census conducted last year, bringing the total number of mountain gorillas in Africa to 880 and giving hope to conservationists trying to save the critically endangered species.

Uganda is now home to nearly half of the world's mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, a source of confidence for a country that has come to depend heavily on the popular apes for substantial tourism revenue. The rest of the surviving mountain gorillas — the species Gorilla beringei beringei — are in Congo and Rwanda.

"The increase in the population of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is testimony to the sound natural resource management policies that are being implemented in the protected areas," Uganda's Ministry of Tourism said in a statement received Friday. "This result confirms beyond reasonable doubt that Uganda's conservation efforts are paying off."

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a network of forested jungle deep in the country's southwestern frontier, is recognized by UNESCO as a heritage site of world value. A permit to track gorillas there costs at least $500 and the World Wildlife Fund estimates that each gorilla brings in up to $1 million in revenue each year for the East African country.

The census shows a stunning recovery for a species that once faced a real threat of extinction. Mountain gorillas in the wild still face threats ranging from habitat loss to poaching, especially in Congo, where lawlessness in the country's vast eastern territory has allowed illegal hunters to prosper. Mountain gorillas are hunted for their meat in Congo, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Even a common cold can kill a mountain gorilla, as species is particularly vulnerable to respiratory diseases usually associated with humans.

The conservation group Gorilla Doctors said the population growth was partly due to "extreme conservation" methods such as daily ranger monitoring in the forest. Ugandan wildlife officials have been able to build successful partnerships with local communities in part by pouring some of the revenue into local projects, converting previously hostile groups into friendly advocates for the gorillas' survival.

"The mountain gorilla is the only non-human great ape that is actually growing in number," said Mike Cranfield of Gorilla Doctors. "The growth of the mountain gorilla population can be attributed to the intensive conservation and collaboration between multiple conservation groups and government authorities."

berest 24th-Nov-2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
Был у меня знакомый полицейский из Уганды. Подал в суд на их государство, что и выиграл судебное дело. Что показывает, что не всё так плохо в Уганде с содипроизводством.. Очеь милый человек. Говорил, что очень хороший там климат. Похоже, правда.
myrrhmade 24th-Nov-2012 09:34 pm (UTC)

Lady of Shallot Gorilla is happy for this news.
effervescent 24th-Nov-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
This makes me happy ♥ I just feel so sick whenever I think about the animals that we've driven or are driving to extinction for various reasons. :/
darlahood 24th-Nov-2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
IKR. I read a magazine article the other day (Natural History) about rhino horns and chinese medicine. They showed a picture of a medicine shop with these strange animal parts, and talked about how xy&z are poached, etc.

Anyway, not dissing chinese medicine, because I know there's a lot more to it than animal harvesting, but I'm just not sure how anyone's well-being is dependent on a gd rhino horn.
fenris_lorsrai 24th-Nov-2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
Rhinos have had a particularly terrible year for poaching too. Record levels were killed this year... and we're not out of year yet. :(
squeeful 24th-Nov-2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
And let's not even talk about the tigers.
effervescent 24th-Nov-2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Ugh, there are so many animals at threat because of medicines worldwide that don't seem to have any scientific basis, and that makes me so, so angry. Because the demand is so big that the animals are barely holding on and so many people seem to not care or not recognise that their actions or purchases contribute to it. Tigers are another example. :(
effervescent 24th-Nov-2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can just imagine. I know that extinction is natural as species evolve, some just die out... Human-caused extinction is generally so horrible and unnecessary, though. It's like, considering what we did to the Passenger Pigeon and other animals, you'd think that we would learn... But no.
fenris_lorsrai In happier conservation news...24th-Nov-2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
Article from earlier this year.
Rwandan gorillas seen dismantling poacher's snares
rhysande Re: In happier conservation news...24th-Nov-2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
That's all kinds of amazing
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