Uganda: Gorilla Growth Not Hampered By DRC Turmoil

side effects geneva; font-size: small;”>“Any disturbance even gunshots can cause gorillas to shift or find a more peaceful place but the gorillas in Bwindi have not increased because of unrest in Congo. It is the conservation efforts that have led to an increase in the Bwindi gorillas, ” he said.

He said this during a press briefing today Tuesday at Uganda Media Centre.

The three-week census carried out in September and October 2011at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park confirm that mountain gorillas stand at a minimum of 400.

This means that Uganda is host to more than a half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas.

The last census that was carried out in Bwindi in 2006 showed that the total number of mountain gorillas was 340, while an earlier census that was carried out in 2002 showed the population was 320.

Chairperson Planning & Research Committee for UWA, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, added on that the increasing numbers of gorillas have been brought by a lot of effort from different stake holders.

“ There is the law enforcement which helps to stop poaching, the communities who work around the park, tourists who come and pay money to see the gorillas, veteranians who treat them, researchers and also the media that publicizes them,” said Gladys.

She however encouraged the government to provide more land for the gorillas to expand and produce.

“Both Virunga and Bwindi population are densely populated, there is no buffer zone. The congestion could make the gorillas sick especially from scabies, cholera, ebola. Therefore the media should publicize this issue so as to attract more donors to give us money,” she added.

Charles Tumwesigye, the Chief Conservation Manager, said that there is a general increase in wild animals in the country like the Elephant population. “We have about 5000 Elephants in Uganda now from the 1000 in 1980’s, Uganda Kobs and Antelopes have also increased.

Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Maria Mutagamba, who addressed the briefing, said that the increase in the population of mountain gorillas in Bwindi is testimony to the sound natural resources management policies that are being implemented in the protected areas.

She said that Uganda hosts more than a half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. “Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the most poular tourism destinations in Africa,” added Mutagamba.

Mutagamba commended the census methods used that they used the latest genetic technology combined with field methods. “This result confirms beyond reasonable doubt that Uganda’s conservation efforts are paying off,” she said.


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