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Mountain Gorilla Census-Silverback Gorilla

Gorilla Census Kicks Off in Virunga.

Do you ever wonder how many mountain gorillas are left in the wild? Every five years, a census which is an exercise of counting Mountain gorillas was carried out in the Virunga Mastiff – which is a combination of Virunga National Park in DR Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.

The 2015/2016 mountain gorilla census has been conducted under the framework of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC), with the work being done by Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and I’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature.

A recent survey that was carried out, documented 604 mountain gorillas (gorilla beringei beringei) which is regarded as a largest number of mountain gorillas that ever recorded in the transboundary virung massif as one of the two places in the world where this critically endangered ape is found. If we combine this with the published figure of 400 mountain gorillas living in Bwindi forest in Uganda, as of 2011, an estimated 1004, we find that its only 1,004 mountain gorillas existing in the wild as of 2016.

Considering the area encompassing the mikeno sector of Virunga national park in DR Congo, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and the Mgahinga gorilla national park of Uganda, reffered to as Virunga massif, we realize that 604 individual gorillas were found in 41 groups and of 14 solitary males. This figure is compared together with an estimated 480 individual gorillas living in 36 groups and as 14 solitary males from a survey of the same area in the year 2010.

This is a good indication that the population of the endangered mountain gorillas is steadily growing. This is due to the conservation efforts applied by many stake holders, rangers and communities living around these places with visitors inclusive who contribute revenue that aids salary payment to care takers.

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