The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) has published the results of its survey on the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) population of the Bwindi-Sarambwe ecosystem, one of the two remaining habitats where this endangered great ape still survives today. The survey documented 459 individuals, marking the highest ever recorded population in this area. Together with recent figures published from the Virunga Massif survey, which recorded 604 individuals, the global population of mountain gorillas now stands at 1,063.
The Bwindi-Sarambwe ecosystem straddles the borders of Uganda and the DR Congo and together with the Virunga Massif, is home to the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas. The GVTC survey also included research on other key mammals in the area, including the eastern common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), both of which are listed as endangered. Data collected indicates no decline in the populations of these animals since the last survey conducted in 2011.
The Bwindi-Sarambwe survey was conducted by the Protected Authorities of Uganda (Uganda Wildlife Authority) and DR Congo (l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) under the framework of the GVTC and with support from the Rwanda Development Board as well as several partners and donors.
The Institut pour la Conservation de la Nature and Virunga National Park extend their sincerest thanks to the GVTC community, including the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Rwanda Development Board and its steadfast partners for their critical support and continued trans-boundary collaboration necessary to protect not these animals from extinction.
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