Uganda is going to the gorillas – well, mountain gorillas  to be exact. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park estimates that the world’s mountain gorilla population is up 10 percent in the last two years.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the mountain gorilla count climbed from 786 in 2010 to 880 in 2012. These gorillas are the only great ape to see a population increase, said David Greer, WWF African Great Ape program manager.
This is HUGE news. Mountain gorillas are a critically endangered species and the remaining population (read: the only ones left in the world) live in Bwindi and the Virunga Massif area.
Check out these facts:
- The mountain gorilla is the largest of all gorillas and is the most endangered.
- The world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in Central Africa – Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
- However, the population inhabits a small geographic area where the borders of these countries meet: the Virunga Massif area. The remainder live in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
- Mountain gorillas live in large family units led by a single dominant adult male aka the “Silverback.” (If you couldn’t guess, the name is a result of the grey hair that develops on the male’s back when it reaches adulthood.)
- The Silverback is responsible for protecting the family from predators and other threats.
- Sub-adult males of the family are known as “Blackbacks.”
- Adult females are usually half the size of the males and it’s their responsibility to initiate mating with the dominant male. (All this while caring for the infants.)
- Mountain gorillas are generally very peaceful creatures…unless their young are in danger.
- For every mountain gorilla baby that’s found in the marketplace, an entire family of gorillas died trying to protect it.
- Primary threats to mountain gorillas include forest clearance, poaching, human diseases and civil unrest.