09 Dec 2010:
Mountain Gorilla Population
In Central Africa Grows 25 Percent
The population of endangered mountain gorillas in a critical region of Central Africa has increased more than 25 percent since 2003
, a new report says. According to a recent census
, wildlife officials counted 480 gorillas in a 180-square-mile area that straddles three national parks in the Democratic Republic
A mountain gorilla
of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. That is 100 more than in 2003 and nearly two times the mountain gorillas counted in the three parks 30 years ago, when scientists believed the species was on the verge of extinction. Wildlife officials say improved anti-poaching efforts and local economic development initiatives are behind the recovery of the population. While poachers typically don’t target mountain gorillas, the snares they set for other species pose a major threat. “We cannot let down our guard on the conservation of these incredible animals,” said Eugene Rutagarama, director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program. The total world population of mountain gorillas is roughly 800, including 300 in nearby Bwindi National Park.
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