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New Mountain Gorilla Census Shows Increase


A new mountain gorilla census carried out in March 2010 found a total of 480 gorillas, up from 380 in the previous 2003 census. This reflects a 26.3 percent increase in the number of these otherwise still critically endangered animals. A separate population in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda brings the total world mountain gorilla population to around 782 individuals.

The groups daily monitored and protected by the Karisoke™ Research Center (KRC) in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park now include 126 individuals – a 17.4 percent increase from the number of gorillas cared for in 2003. This increase in the KRC groups represents roughly 25 percent of the total increase in the population, yet these groups only occupy 10 percent of the Virunga range.

“I am delighted that Karisoke™ was able to contribute to the success of this very important census,” says KRC Director Katie Fawcett, Ph.D. “The results not only measure the success of our efforts to protect the mountain gorillas and their habitat; they also provide a great variety of information that will guide our work in future.”

The census spanned two months and three countries (Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda) and involved a strong collaborative effort by the park authorities of each country and their partners, including 13 KRC staff.


 mountain gorillas
 gorilla census

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