We are delighted to announce that census data released today by the Uganda Wildlife Authority has revealed that the number of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda has risen from the 2006 estimate of 302 to a minimum of 400 in 2011! This now brings the total world population of mountain gorillas up to a minimum of 880, when the 480 from the Virungas are added.
David Greer, WWF African Great Ape Programme Manager, said that ‘Mountain gorillas are the only great ape experiencing a population increase. This is largely due to intensive conservation efforts and successful community engagement.’
Thanks to the number of gorilla families that have been habituated for tourism, income for the conservation of this endangered species has increased dramatically. Funds from the sale of permits to track the gorillas are ploughed back into their conservation as well as local community projects that will in turn promote their welfare.
Over the past fifteen years Volcanoes has been at the forefront of mountain gorilla tourism and we are the only safari company to have signed the UN Kinshasa Declaration on Great Apes. We believe that long-term partnerships between ecotourism companies, local communities, conservation bodies, governments and donors are essential to the survival of the great apes. We continue to work towards improving tourism infrastructure, training local people in hospitality and guiding to ensure the increase in skills and income amongst members of local communities and ensure they earn a stake in gorilla tourism.
Contact us for more information on our gorilla safaris.