The outgoing Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities has unveiled the results from the Gorilla Census that was conducted in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The long awaited results have put the number of mountain gorillas living in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Sarambwe Nature Reserve of the Democratic Republic of Congo to 459 mountain gorillas. These great apes are distributed in 50 groups. The research also found out the there are only 13 solitary gorillas that live in the wild of the impenetrable forest.
The census that has yielded this number was done in 2018 and the study was done in the Bwindi-Sarambwe Ecosystem. The area covers 340km that was covered on foot. The 2018 census is the fifth population count in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the first count to include Sarambwe Nature Reserve.
Growing Population of the Mountain Gorillas
The population of the mountain gorillas has grown significantly. The latest census puts the global population of the mountain gorillas to 1063 if the Virunga population is combined with the Bwindi Population.
The earlier Virunga Census put the numbers of the mountain gorillas that live in the three national parks of the Virunga to 604 mountain gorillas. These great apes roam through the national parks of Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Rwanda and the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda.
The report also established of the 459 mountain gorillas, there are 50 gorilla families and only 13 gorillas live in solitary life within the Bwindi Forest. Of the 50 gorilla families, only 19 families have been habituated for gorilla tourism and research. 18 families can be visited by tourists taking gorilla safaris in Uganda.
Bwindi Forest alone hosts 43% of the total population of the mountain gorillas left in the world.
The Bwindi-Sarambwe ecosystem encompasses approximately 331 km2 in Uganda and 9 km2 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The gorillas as well as other animals that live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park at time cross to Sarambwe, a small extension of Bwindi into the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Sarambwe area is protected as a nature reserve.