Uganda Mountain Gorilla Census
The mountain gorillas has been listed by UNESCO as highly endangered and can only be found in the border regions of the three central African Countries of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many international organizations as well as the three Countries have had to undertake a lot to help in the conservation of these gentle giants whose DNA is about 97% similar to that of human beings. To help in the conservation plans the International Gorilla Conservation Programme – IGCP is now trying to establish the number of mountain gorillas that are found in the two national parks of Mgahinga and Bwindi national park. The last mountain gorilla census was carried out in 2006 in which about 340 mountain gorillas were recorded and registered in the two national parks. The total number of mountain gorillas in the wild was then found to 786 in all with half of these found in Uganda’s Bwindi national park and there others in Volcanoes Rwanda and Virunga national park in Congo. Mr. Stephen Asuma who is the Country representative of International Gorilla Conservation Programme in Uganda during a conference said that the census which is expected to start this month is scheduled to end on the 20th of October. Mountain gorillas being very similar to humans in terms of their DNA which is 97% similar to that of human beings are very susceptible to contracting diseases from humans. However unlike humans who can easily recover with a short bed rest and treatment from antibiotics, mountain gorillas are easily affected by these slight infections. The population of mountain gorillas is expected to have increased by 26% according to the 2006 population census and projections. Mountain gorilla tour packages today earns Uganda a lot of money racking in more than $3m in tourism. Mr. Asuma said that it is imperative that the government of Uganda propers funds to help in the promotion of mountain gorilla tourism to help raise awareness both locally and internationally so as to increase on the funds it is currently bringing in. A Uganda gorilla tour can be carried out in Bwindi national park or in Mgahinga gorilla national park while a Rwanda gorilla tour is carried out in Volcanoes national park and although very limited in numbers dues to the civil strife in the region a Virunga gorilla safari is the only mountain gorilla safari done in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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