Happy Holidays: Virunga Mountain Gorilla Population Shows 5.7% Growth!

The latest Virunga Alliance report for the July-August-September 2019 quarter reports the birth of 5 new baby gorillas in Virunga National Park, located at the East of the country. However, a baby is dead. With the 4 survivors, the total number of gorillas now stands at 147 in this nature reserve.

“Mountain gorillas are doing very well. Five babies were born in the Bageni (1 female), Kabirizi (1 female and 1 male), Mapuwa (1 male) and Rugendo (1 male) families. Unfortunately, one baby of the family did not survive. These births bring the total population of gorillas habituated to people to 147 individuals. Since the last census in 2016, regular families have experienced 41 births and 11 deaths, resulting in a growth rate of over 5.7%. This percentage is comparable to the natural rate, a sign of their excellent health. The 4 Gorillas of the Senkwekwe Shrine are doing just fine. The temporary threat to them is that of chimpanzees, stronger than them, who sometimes invade their enclosure, “says the report published on October 30, 2019.

The report estimates that these results are “the result of a colossal work done by all the rangers and trackers who are active 365 days in the gorilla sector. They monitor accustomed groups, report medical problems, struggle against poaching, preserve the area from the presence of armed groups, and engage communities in conservation efforts.  Each year, the guards and trackers travel more than 50,000 kilometers in the Mikeno sector alone and perform the equivalent of 70 Everest climbs to accomplish their mission “.

The work of Virunga rangers was applauded on the International Gorilla Day on September 24th. In May 2018, Virunga Park announced that the mountain gorilla population had exceeded the 1,000-individuals despite threats of poaching, habitat degradation and armed conflict. There was a 26% increase in the number of gorillas over a six-year period, an annual growth rate of 3.8%.

In November of the same year, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) confirmed the bar of more than 1000 individuals and affirmed at the same time that these animals were out of danger of extinction. IUCN is a key indicator for monitoring the state of biodiversity in the world. It is based on a series of specific criteria for assessing the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies.

Source: ActualiteCd – Fonseca Mansianga