Where Are Mountain Gorillas Found? Mountain gorillas are the only gorilla species found in the East and Central Africa as opposed to the Western and Eastern lowlands, among others. As a result, mountain gorillas may be found in three adjacent nations in East Africa: Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and their number is growing year by year.
More than half of them dwell in the Virunga Mountains, a chain of extinct volcanoes that runs across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. The remainder may be found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Since the discovery of the mountain gorilla subspecies in 1902, its population has been subjected to years of conflict, poaching, habitat loss, and disease—threats so severe that the species was originally feared to be extinct by the end of the twentieth century.
Mountain gorillas, also known as “Gorilla Beringei Beringei,” are a subspecies of the eastern gorilla with two different subpopulations, one in the Virunga Mountains and the other in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. According to the 2011 gorilla census, there were around 400 gorillas living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, implying that the overall number of mountain gorillas is rapidly expanding to more than 1,000 individuals.
As per the American primatology Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, the recent census of the Virunga sub-population verified that mountain gorillas are only one of the great ape populations whose numbers are rising. The study also shows that the number of mountain gorillas is increasing as a result of the “intense daily protection” offered by national park officials and other conservationists. The research concerning gorilla individuals residing in the Virunga Mountains presently numbers 500, with the majority of the individuals located in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, bringing the overall mountain gorilla population to around 1064.
The IUCN Red List classifies mountain gorillas as critically endangered in general, while the IUCN’s most recent evaluation of the subspecies’ threat status was updated in 2008. Mountain gorilla survival is still in jeopardy, despite the fact that they face multiple challenges owing to their restricted habitat and increasing pressures from poaching and expanding human populations. Wires and rope are placed up to snare game animals such as antelopes if they constitute a severe threat. The census team of researchers produced a report of more than 380 snares, which they destroyed. Though they were too late, they did locate one example in which they discovered a snare containing a dead gorilla.
Conflicts in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo “DRC” sometimes spill over into Virunga National Park, further threatening animals. In this regard, five rangers and a driver were slain in an ambush by suspected members of an armed militia in what has been dubbed “the bloodiest attack in the history of Virunga National Park.”
The IUCN assessment issued in January 1925 indicated that conserving mountain gorillas in the forest of Virunga Mountain is one of the world’s most vulnerable natural world Heritage sites. The increasing development of the mountain gorilla population serves as a stark reminder of the need of on-going conservation efforts,’ says the director and chief warden of Virunga National Park. Despite the fact that the news is really vital to us.
The governmental bodies of DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda led the census of the Virunga gorilla sub-species. Mountain gorillas have three range states, which are the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, the Fauna and Flora International Coalition, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Above everything else, it’s great news for mountain gorillas and demonstrates what we can accomplish for wildlife when governments and people work together, according to the report. However, the rising number of snares encountered, as well as other threats gorillas face, such as climate change, indicate that the war is far from over.
In this scenario, nations where gorillas are found must continue to collaborate to maintain the Virunga Massif, not only for the protection of these magnificent creatures, but also for the wellbeing of the local people around the park. The big mountain gorilla narrative is an incredible lesson on how to preserve our planet’s valuable biodiversity.
The number of these amazing animals was dangerously low. As a result, it is gratifying to observe how the efforts of so many various groups, communities, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played a significant role in overcoming the gorilla menace. Although the threat to mountain gorillas has not been totally alleviated, the task now is to guarantee that these gains be sustained for the foreseeable future.
Finally, mountain gorillas can be seen in three countries in their protected natural environments: Uganda has two national parks, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, both of which have 23 habituated gorilla families, Rwanda has 17 gorilla groups, and Congo has over 8 habituated gorilla groups. Mountain gorilla trekking is an activity done in groups of 8 people, and it might take 30 minutes to 7 hours to allocate the gorilla family you are traveling with, followed by a park ranger. You can try to reach each place by car or by plane; the option is yours.
Visitors also have the option of doing gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali which is quite affordable for people who can’t afford gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Bwindi impenetrable national park also offers gorilla habituation experience for visitors looking to spend more time with gorillas and learn more about the mountain gorilla sub-species.