Whilst the headline is good, and encouraging, news, the total number of mountain gorillas is now estimated at just 880. It is also worth noting that mountain gorillas are the only great ape experiencing a population increase.
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is host to a population of about 400 mountain gorillas and a second population is found in three parks making up the Virunga Massif area which spans into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and Rwanda. The issues facing both populations are deforestation, regional conflict, disease, poaching, and snaring.
The population in DRC’s Virunga National Park also faces a relatively new issue: oil exploration. I covered the issue of oil exploration in the Virunga National Park in my blogs Virunga National Park – Oil Exploration Plans and Action Alert: Congo’s Rainforests (Including Gorilla Rich Virunga National Park) Targeted by SOCO Oil Company.