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Good news for the Mountain Gorilla

A census of the critically endangered mountain gorilla has reported a 26.3% increase in the Virunga Massif population since 2003.

During March and April 2010, the census counted a total of 480 mountain gorillas, in 36 groups along with 14 solitary silverback males. Of the 480 mountain gorillas, 352 (73%) are habituated (349 in groups and three solitary males) and 128 are unhabituated (117 in groups and 11 solitary males). The last census conducted in the Virunga Massif estimated the population to be 380 individuals.

Young mountain gorillaThe Virunga Massif includes three contiguous national parks spanning the Virunga Volcanoes on the border of three countries: Parc National des Virunga in DRC, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The only other location where mountain gorillas exist is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

Along with the 302 mountain gorillas censused in 2006 in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and four orphaned mountain gorillas in a sanctuary in DRC, the total known world population is 786 individuals.

As a travel company that operates trips to the Virunga region and include the chance to trek to see mountain gorillas, we certainly hope tourism has had a positive effect on this primate’s future survival due both to the income tourism generates and the worldwide interest it creates in the mountain gorilla’s plight.

For the full story see the website of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme

Oasis Overland trips that include the chance to trek to see mountain gorillas:

Gorillas & Gameparks

Apes & Lakes

Grand Adventurer

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