Friday, March 13, 2020

Results of the gorilla census results for the period 2017/2018

On 16th December 2019 the result of the new gorilla survey for 2018 was released after having been conducted under the framework of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration initiative.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in 2018 launched a new census of the mountain gorilla population in Bwindi impenetrable National Park to assess their numbers, assess the conservation efforts, estimate the population of other mammals like bush pigs, elephants, and monkeys and human activities in the park for planning and conservation purposes.
The census was funded by the International Gorilla Conservation Program, a global agency of the United Nations dedicated to protecting gorillas and their habitat, to the tune of $100,000 (about sh280m). The team, comprising of Ugandans, Rwandese and DR Congolese wildlife experts traversed the entire forest in this remarkable counting of the great apes.

The final result shows that as of December 2018, Uganda has up to 459 mountain gorillas in 50 groups and 13 solitary individuals in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This number indicates an increase from previous count of 400 gorillas with 36 groups and 16 solitary individuals in 2011.

The survey in Bwindi was preceded by the survey done in the Virunga Massif in 2016, to cover Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga National Park and Virunga National Park. The number of mountain gorillas was established at 604 in total.
Therefore, the global population of mountain gorillas now stands at 1,063 in total between Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
This once more shows that Uganda shares 51% of the total population of mountain gorillas on the planet and the future of these great apes is brighter because the numbers have risen since 2011.

As per March 2020, the access to gorilla eco-tourism in Uganda is as following: Mgahinga National Park with 2 gorilla groups open to public and Bwindi National Park with 4 entry points, respectively Buhoma (with 3 gorilla groups), Ruhija (with 4 gorilla groups), Rushaga (with 7 gorilla groups) and Nkuringo (with 3 gorilla groups).

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