Gorilla Conservation

Gorilla Conservation; Mountain gorillas are endangered animals only found in East and Central regions of Africa that is Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Virunga mountain ranges shared by volcanoes national park in Rwanda, mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo with only 1004 individual as per 2018 report.

In the struggles of gorilla Conservation in Africa and world at large, many efforts and practices have been laid down. International gorilla conservation programme (IGCP) a non-governmental organization is greatly dedicated to the gorilla conservation and protection in Bwindi impenetrable national park and mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo and volcanoes national park in Rwanda by drafting and enforcing laws as well as carrying out research. International gorilla conservation programme was established in 1991 as a joint effort of African wildlife foundation, Fauna & Flora International and the World Wide Fund for Nature.it is currently headed by Anna Behm Masozera.

Gorilla Conservation

Gorilla Census: Counting of gorilla available in each subpopulation is carried out by rangers and specified individuals to monitor population of mountain gorillas. When the census shows a fall in the population, this indicates negative human practices like poaching and kidnaping hence increasing the conservation efforts.

Connecting Corridors Between Isolated Areas: Due to insecurities and unrest in Rwanda, Uganda & Democratic Republic of Congo, many mountain gorillas are forced to leave and migrate to other areas(corridors). To protect these mountain gorillas, corridors are connected to make movement of gorillas easier and safer.

Establishment of Rescue Facilities: To stop the tendencies of poaching and kidnapping of infant mountain gorillas, many rescue facilities have been established to offer shelter to these rescued infants from poachers for example karisoke research Centre in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park which was established by Dian Fossey on 24 September 1967 & Uganda wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe Uganda. On a record a young infant (matabishi) was rescued and taken to Senkwekwe facility in Rumangabo in 2007.

Increased Patrolling: Increased patrolling of the protected area by trained armed rangers is being carried out in the struggles of stopping poachers from Killing Mountain gorillas for bush meat and kidnapping of the infants for sale. Rangers on their patrols also remove traps and snares laid by poachers.

Introduction of Strict Rules & Regulations: Wildlife governing bodies like Uganda wildlife authority of Uganda, Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association of Rwanda and wildlife conservation society of Democratic Republic Congo have issued a number guidelines and rules to be followed by tourists who wish to engage in gorilla trekking. For example staying 7m away from mountain gorillas and not allowing ill tourists to go for trekking which prevents the gorillas from contracting human disease.

Education & Research: Many gorilla conservation courses have been introduced in secondary schools & training has been provided to interns so as to acquire all the knowledge pertaining conservation of gorillas. Research has also been carried out on gorillas in research centers like gorilla research clinic buhoma in Bwindi impenetrable national park to trace scabies skin disease in gorillas and karisoke research Centre.

Expansion & Demacating of Protected Areas: Areas harboring mountain gorillas have been re demarcated and expanded to conserve these endangered animals from poaching and encroaching on the game park by the locals. Mountain gorilla areas in Africa include Bwindi impenetrable national park, Virunga national park, volcanoes national park and mgahinga national park.

Sensitizing of the Local Communities & the Public: Through seminars and out reaches, mountain gorilla conservation organisations have been able to teach and inform the local communities about the importance and benefits of protecting mountain gorillas. This has seen arise in population of mountain gorilla population as the locals have seen it to respect the gorillas and their habitats.

Gorilla Ceremonies: Gorilla trekking brings in a lot of revenue from permit sales, to increase the moral and interest of local communities in conserving and protecting mountain gorillas. Ceremonies like kwita izina were introduced in 2005 and also in the same year Rwanda started an annual profit sharing scheme where 5% of the earned revenue from tourism is given to the disadvantaged communities to carry out construction of roads, schools and hospitals.

Improving on Security: Security is a major influencing factor in tourism and a lot of mountain gorillas have either immigrated or lost their lives due to insecurity and unrest in the mountain gorilla harboring areas of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. Security has been improved by fighting off rebel groups, training more armies on the borders.

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