The number of Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park has increased from 400 in 2011 to 459 as of December 2018, outgoing Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Ephraim Kamuntu has revealed.
The first census of 1997 revealed 300 gorillas, while the number increased to 320 in 2002.
With results from the 2018 gorilla census in Bwindi merged with those carried out from other parks in the greater Virunga region – Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga, in the eastern DR Congo – the number of the great ape globally is 1,063.
Globally, there were 880 gorillas in 2011.
A gorilla census involves a complete count of each individual gorilla in a park.
The census team also counts gorilla nests, and collect their feaces which will be used for generic analysis.
According to Kamuntu, the gorillas are divided in 50 groups, with 13 solitary individuals. The number increased from 36 families in 2011.
The increase comes as good news seeing that Mountain gorillas, a backbone of Uganda’s tourism industry, are listed under the IUCN Redbook as ‘critically endangered’.
The increase has been attributed to government’s improved conservation strategy as well as reduced poaching.
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