The number of mountain gorillas in Uganda on the rise
Uganda is expecting a rise in the population of critically endangered mountain gorillas after a “baby boom” in the recent past with in the famous Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Covering a total area of 321 sq.km and an altitude of up to 2607 m above sea level, Bwindi national park which is set to be monitored during this gorilla census is home to almost 50% of the world’s mountain gorillas.
Conservation researchers and Mountain gorilla experts will survey and analyze the status of the population, assess the impact of threats, and evaluate the effectiveness of conservation strategies towards mountain gorillas. Unlike the last census in 2011, the researchers are expecting the number to have increased from the previous 400 gorillas.
A team of rangers, wardens and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) staff will be gathered to disentangle and smoothen the paths in the forest for evidence of mountain gorillas. The methodology of this survey will include teams moving systematically amidst the undergrowth recording gorilla nests, evidence of movement and feacal samples, which shall be collected for genetic analysis.
The forth coming gorilla census in Uganda shall be divided into two phases – the first will begin in March (2018), and the second will be carried out later in October 2018. The genetic analysis will provide an accurate population figure soon after the data capture is completed. This is aimed at setting better strategies for the development of mountain gorilla conservation and protection in a near future. Whilst the official global population was since recorded as 900 individuals, this is significantly up on the 600 low-point registered in mid-1990s.
Mountain gorillas have survived in Uganda and other neighboring countries mainly because of strong efforts dedicated to conservation. Protection of their habitat has been maintained and managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to increase revenue got from gorilla safaris in Uganda, hence supporting indigenous communities dwelling in the neighborhood through providing better education, healthcare and sanitation and employment opportunities for the youth through tourism and conservation.