Mountain gorilla numbers are on the rise, despite threats from poaching and habitat destruction
Now this is a news that is being welcomed by animal conservationists around the world! A recent census has confirmed that the mountain gorilla population in the Virunga mountains in Africa is steadily growing. In fact, the mountain gorilla subspecies is the only great apes whose numbers are known to be on the rise.
The population of these great apes has grown from 480 in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Add another couple hundred apes living in scattered habitats to the south, and their population as a whole totals more than 1,000.
Research shows the increase is due to the type of intensive daily protection provided by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the park authorities of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Given that during the time Dian Fossey worked with the gorillas it was thought they would go extinct by the year 2000, this continued growth, based on the work she started, demonstrates that intensive conservation works,” says Dr. Tara Stoinski, President and CEO of the Fossey Fund.
However, with only about 1,000 individuals remaining, divided into two separate populations, mountain gorillas have been under constant threat from poachers and remain one of the world’s most-endangered animals.