What Caused Mountain Gorillas to Become Endangered?

The Mountain gorilla population is endangered according to the IUCN Red List after moving them from critically endangered in 2018. The mountain gorillas are strong apes living only in three of Africa’s countries with very few natural predators yet still, their population is very low.

Human activities have been a major reason as to why mountain gorillas are endangered. Things like poaching, civil war, and habitat destruction are what caused mountain gorillas to be endangered.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List) founded in 1964 is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species categorized mountain gorillas as endangered.

However, previously the mountain gorillas were categorized as critically endangered because of their risk of extinction. With the increase in the number of mountain gorillas to over 800, they were moved from critically endangered to endangered.

This was one step up the ladder and a success story to the conservationists. Fortunately, the numbers continued to increase to more than an estimated 1063 individuals by the end of 2018.

From 1902, when the mountain gorilla subspecies was discovered, the population has endured years of war, hunting, habitat destruction, and disease; threats so severe that it was once thought the mountain gorilla population would be extinct by the end of the twentieth century.

  • Loss of habitat

Mountain gorillas are the gorilla specie that does not survive in captivity and therefore only survive in their natural habitats. However, loss of their habitat could be one threat to their increasing population because as the population increases the habitat isn’t.

Environmental degradation including deforestation and clearance of forests is one threat to mountain gorillas. The increase in the population of the surrounding communities has led to forest deforestation activities like cutting of forests for firewood, conversion of neighboring land for agriculture which is limiting the boundaries of the gorilla habitat.

  • Diseases

Mountain gorillas are very vulnerable to disease and can easily catch a human. Being closely related to humans gorillas have similar anatomical and physiological features and therefore can easily catch diseases from humans this is why individuals with a cold or diseases that put gorillas at risk are not allowed to go for trekking and if you report at the trek start point your permit fees may be refunded. This is applicable for Uganda gorilla trekking safaris or gorilla tours in Rwanda to ensure that the gorillas are kept away from danger.

  • Poaching and Hunting

Lately, there are incidents of poaching mountain gorillas for food. This was common in the first two decades after their discovery when trophy hunters killed over 50 mountain gorillas and this jeopardized the gorilla population. Recently, the other threat to gorillas is getting trapped to snares set up by hunters for other wildlife species like antelopes, bush pigs, and other species. These snares cause injuries and occasionally kill gorillas.

  • Guerilla war

Political instability especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda greatly affected the mountain gorilla population. The Democratic Republic of Congo has had lots of rebel groups attacking the Virunga National Park and led to the loss of several gorillas.

However, lately, the three countries are much more stable and have embarked on strong conservation efforts that have seen an increase in the gorilla population. Any form of political instability and guerilla wars are a high threat to the mountain gorilla population.

However, what was seen as a population at severe risk with the mountain gorillas endangered saw a bright future a couple of years ago because of the increasing numbers. All this because of the great conservation efforts by the authorities where the mountain gorillas live as well as supporting partners.

Today there are very high hopes of a constant increase in the population of the mountain gorillas following the strong conservation efforts. In 2020, the mountain gorilla population faced a baby boom when six babies were born in just 5 weeks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Mountain gorillas survive in two populations within their natural habitats, one in Bwindi forest and the other in the Virunga massif. Those in the Virunga volcanoes are spread out to three national parks which are Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park.

These are in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo respectively. To see these gentle giants, a person has to visit them by planning an Uganda gorilla safari, a gorilla tour Rwanda, or gorilla trekking to Congo.

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Mountain Gorillas Endangered

Buhoma Sector Gorilla Families

3 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari is done in Rushaga Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is located in southwestern Uganda a magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley.

This ancient rain-forest is one of the few in Africa to have flourished and home to half of the world’s endangered population of mountain gorillas.

Looking into the expressive brown eyes of these giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter Uganda has to offer! Apart from the gorilla trekking Tour, the park boasts of 90 mammal species, including 11 primates and prominent bird species. It is a treasure chest of flora and fauna with ten gorilla groups currently available to be visited by only eight persons per group on a daily basis. However, strict rules have to be followed to prevent behavioral disturbances and transmission of diseases.


3 Days Bwindi Gorilla Safari Uganda Tour – Mountain Gorillas Endangered

Mountain Gorillas Endangered

3 Days Bwindi Gorilla Safari Uganda Tour

3 Days Bwindi Gorilla Safari Uganda Tour takes you for Uganda gorilla tour to Uganda gorilla safaris tour destination for gorilla trekking tours while on your Uganda safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable forest park.

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An encounter with an earth-shaking 350-pound silverback or baby gorilla is an unforgettable experience! view the long-horned Ankole cattle papyrus acacia woodlands and terraced landscape of Kigezi high lands on your way to Bwindi impenetrable national park.

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3 Days Volcanoes Park Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari; On the 3 Days Volcanoes Park Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari, You will go to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda which is part of the Virunga Conservation area and is located in the extreme northwest of the country, bordering Uganda and Congo. Read More…

6 Day Rwanda Wildlife Safaris Tour; The 6 Day Rwanda Wildlife safari will give the two ultimate safari experiences i.e. game drives in Akagera national park and gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park. Akagera national park is the only Savannah park in Rwanda hosting a number of big mammals. Read More…

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