The Mountain Gorilla comeback

The Mountain Gorilla, Gorilla beringei beringei, is the primate comeback kid.

I previously shared news with you that their population has been making a rebound. Since then, The Times has published a news article on this topic. (Thanks, Paulin!) Before we get into it, I wanted to say that I haven’t noticed any US news sources report on this, which is disheartening. But anyways, I won’t let that get me down. It’s not often good news like this comes around. Suffice to say, I’m pretty ecstatic to tell you that mountain gorilla populations have,

“been boosted by 12 per cent over the last decade in Uganda…

Mountain gorillas, Gorilla beringei beringei, are one of the most threatened animals in the world, with only 720 left in the wild after years of decline in the face of hunting by humans and habitat loss.

In Bwindi, in southwest Uganda, where they live in a national park, genetic analysis of stools revealed that the population had risen by 40 to 340 in ten years.”

The article goes on to write how this has broke down to be an average increase of 1%, which is a steady increase indicating a healthy, thriving, and well-protected population. But that doesn’t mean the conservation effort for these primates is all done and good now. A population of under 1,000 individuals is still critically endangered.

Mountain Gorillas

A lot can still be done to improve their comeback into a full blown population rebound. One thing that comes to mind is to control your cell phone purchases. I know it sounds unrelated, but cell phone manufacturing has a tie-in with gorilla habitats. Another factor to keep in mind goes out to you eco-tourists. Don’t visit the gorillas if you are sick. They are capable of getting our infectious agents, and actually are even more susceptible, because they do not have the acquired immune resistance we do.

3 thoughts on “The Mountain Gorilla comeback

  1. Thank you Paulin and Kambiz for the great news!

    Also, when you all get a chance…check out the following link which lists Paulin’s Wildlife Direct videos on YouTube.

    The 31 breathtaking videos provide a front row seat to Mountain Gorillas, the Semliki river Hippos of Virunga National Park, Ankole cattle in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve of eastern Congo, Elephants crossing the Semliki River, and of the valiant work of the Congo Rangers.

  2. I haven’t read the article yet, so I apologize if this has already been addressed, but is there any chance that the reported increase in mountain gorilla populations could be at least partially attributed to improved census-taking?

  3. That is not addressed in the article, Dave. It is certainly a good possibility that there’s an improvement in ‘counting heads’ out in the field. But usually, in my experience, highly endangered species are accurately sampled and monitored regularly.

    Maybe Paulin, a Congo Ranger, who specializes in protecting mountain gorillas would have a better idea of the history of gorilla population sampling?

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