Mountain Gorillas at Home

According to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2016, the total population of mountain gorillas living in the wild is about 880. These remaining critically endangered gorillas live within four national parks in the central African countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For decades, the survival of mountain gorillas has been threatened by human activity—by habitat loss due to farming, by war and unrest that can cause both physical harm and habitat loss, and by poaching—either intentional trapping or unintentional harm caused by traps set for other animals. Conservation efforts in recent years appear to have encouraging results, as the mountain gorilla population has grown from a low point in the early 1980s, when only about 254 were counted in the Virunga Mountains. The work to protect the gorillas involves a combination of supporting the neighboring communities, the promotion of responsible tourism, and active protection against poaching.

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