Mountain gorillas are only found in south western Uganda, Rwanda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are one of the most endangered animal species in the world. There are two gorilla subspecies that can only be found in Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda and the Virunga Conservation Area, which includes three national parks that is Mgahinga National Park in south-west Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in north-west Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the eastern DR Congo the two countries Rwanda and Uganda are found in east Africa while the DR Congo is in central Africa.
The Western lowland gorillas have a large population of approximately 100,000, and eastern lowland gorillas have a population of about 5,000 in the wild. This is unlike mountain gorillas whose population is estimated to be only 880 in total. These lovely family creatures that live in the mountains are endangered because of the threats they face that are harmful to their well-being and habitat. And they include the following
The Habitat loss.
These animals face habitat loss because a lot of people live in the remote areas where mountain gorillas are found. Their need for land to cultivate has reduced the forest in which the gorillas live to virtual islands in the middle of expanding human settlements this clearing of the forest has made them homeless and this destruction affects the reproduction process because they are not certain of their future and stability.
Superstition and Traditional Medicine
Traditional medicine is another problem to the mountain gorillas because several parts of the gorilla’s body are also highly sought after for magical charms by the traditional healers which has severely affected their population.
Mountain gorillas are illegally hunted for trophies and live infants In addition to being hunted for meat. In doing so they affect the reproduction and this is done mainly in the DRC where the gorillas are hunted for meat and this has put a lot of threat on them.
The Oil & gas exploration
The European oil and gas companies have been granted exploration concessions in Virunga National Park, home to Democratic Republic of the Congo’s mountain gorilla population. This development in the park will negatively affect these animals.
The Wildlife trade
Mountain gorillas are also targeted for illegal wildlife trade. Sometimes they are killed accidentally as these poachers are trying to kill other animals like the elephants. This wild life trade has caused severe unrest in the habitat which scares them away and they run to unprotected areas.
Diseases passed on by humans
Diseases are mainly passed on by humans as more people move into their habitat and as more tourists come to see them, these mountain gorillas are becoming increasingly exposed to a variety of human ailments.
War & instability
War and instability is another threat to the Mountain gorillas because of the refugees and the continued civil unrest and the presence of armed militias which makes survey and conservation work difficult in the DRC’s protected areas.