AboutZoos, Since 2008


Cen­sus finds increase in crit­i­cally endan­gered moun­tain gorilla population

pub­lished 24 Decem­ber 2010 | mod­i­fied 02 Jan­u­ary 2012

A cen­sus in March and April 2010 of the world’s largest moun­tain gorilla pop­u­la­tion has counted 480 ani­mals, an increase of 100 since the last count in 2003. The goril­las (Gorilla berengei berengei) sur­veyed live in Cen­tral Africa’s Virunga Mas­sif region, a vol­canic moun­tain ecosys­tem con­sist­ing of three adja­cent national parks span­ning parts of Demo­c­ra­tic Repub­lic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and Rwanda.

The cur­rent tally rep­re­sents an annual growth rate of 3.7% in Virunga despite the ille­gal killing of no less than nine moun­tain goril­las in the area over the past seven years. The only other remain­ing wild pop­u­la­tion of 302 moun­tain goril­las live in south­west­ern Uganda’s Bwindi national park. Together with four orphaned moun­tain goril­las in a sanc­tu­ary in the DRC the wild pop­u­la­tion now adds up to 786 spec­i­mens. This proves the effect of strong law enforce­ment efforts to safe­guard ani­mals on species con­ser­va­tion. Unfor­tu­nately, the moun­tain gorilla is the only one of the nine sub­species of African great apes expe­ri­enc­ing a pop­u­la­tion increase. So, cel­e­brat­ing this col­lec­tive achieve­ment is allowed, but increased efforts to safe­guard the remain­ing eight sub­species of great apes are needed. (Source: WWF, 07.12.2010)

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Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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