How Many Gorillas Are Left In The World : Mountain gorillas are eastern Africa’s treasure and are fascinating creatures which explains why they are of a great appeal. Since their scientific discovery in 17th October 1902, they are a subspecies of the gorilla genus eastern lowland species. Mountain gorillas have similar anatomy with other gorilla subspecies, however these have thicker and longer hair, jaws and teeth.
Mountain gorillas have big bodies than the lowland gorillas and shorter limbs but have similar characteristics in which elderly males acquire a silver or grey line of hair on their lower backs and occasionally up to their hips thus the name silverback gorillas. The weight of an adult male gorilla is 160 kgs and the female weighs 98kgs.
The mountain gorillas are found within their natural habitats in the virunga region in 4 protected areas that is Volcanoes national park of Rwanda, Virunga national park of Democratic Republic of Congo, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla’s national park of Uganda. The gorillas live in the wild and it’s rare for them to survive in captivity. However, the mountain gorillas prefer high elevations that range from 2,500 to 4,000 meters and live in the montane forests as well as bamboo forests.
POPULATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN THE WORLD
The mountain gorillas are found in two separate locations that is the virunga range of extinct volcanic mountains on the borders of the Democratic republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda and the Bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda. However some primatologists believe that Bwindi national park has a different and separate subspecies of gorillas. But since their discovery, the mountain gorilla’s population has very much declined for a number of reasons such as habitat loss to humans, poaching and hunters. However, strategies have been made such as setting up of protected areas, the mountain gorillas population is expected to increase.
The mountain gorilla species was at the verge of being depleted and it was even listed on the IUCN’S list of critically endangered species in 1989 with just 620 individuals remaining on the globe. But as years passed and understanding expanded, conservation measures were done within an area and thus leading to an increase in the numbers from 620 individuals to 1,063 individuals in the recent census of 2019. The mountain gorillas have been extensively observed from early 1950s and all births have been recorded and thus the estimate.
The virunga range which includes the virunga national park, volcanoes national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park is one of the sites where mountain gorillas can be found. On the previous census the region had 604 individuals living at the altitudes ranging from 2,300 meters to 4,500 meters. The gorilla population was reduced to 480 individuals in 2010 but the recent census of 2019 the population increased to 604 individuals. A gorilla trekking permit at mgahinga gorilla national park costs 700 USD, volcanoes national park costs 1500USD and Virunga national park charges 400 USD.
The senkekwe gorilla orphanage which can be visited while at a stay at Mikeno lodge and it’s found in the virunga national park and it’s a habitat to three orphaned gorillas, How Many Gorillas Are Left In The World
The mountain gorillas in bwindi impenetrable national park were counted in 2011 with 400 individuals. The gorillas in bwindi are considerably smaller in size and can be seen in 4 different sectors of Nkuringo, Rushaga, Buhoma and Ruhija. The gorillas in bwindi prefer lower elevations ranging from 1,500 to 2,300 meters. Therefore for one to have a memorable gorilla trekking safari, they can book a safari within the gorilla habitats so that you can enjoy the experience.