December 10, 2010


Christmas came early this year for gorillla conservation experts. A census that counted endangered mountain gorillas in their African habitat shows that their number has grown by more than 25% since 2003. This is big news because just 30 years ago we were down to 250 mountain gorillas, and scientists believed that the species was in danger of extinction.

Scientists who did the census this spring found 480 mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) living in 36 groups, plus 14 solitary silverback males. They live in a huge park called the Virunga Massif which spans three countries - the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The governments of these nations are credited with working hard alongside wildlife conservation groups to protect the gorillas by policing poachers and protecting against accidental snaring by local hunters.

"The mountain gorilla is the only one of the nine subspecies of African great apes experiencing a population increase.  While we celebrate this collective achievement, we must also increase efforts to safeguard the remaining eight subspecies of great apes," said David Greer, African Great Ape Coordinator at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 




 You can learn more about mountain gorillas in my book, and visit the International Gorilla Conservation Program website to learn how you can help.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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