Of the 880 primates found in the world, more than 400 are in Ugandan forests. After the celebration of Uganda @50, Uganda the pearl of Africa, celebrates again for an increase of the mountain gorillas the most visited tourism products at Bwindi forest hence increase of the revenue. Therefore it easier for the tourists to track gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park than any other destination. The amazing report was revealed yesterday by the ministry of Tourism and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). According to UWA, the latest census found that there was an increment by 60 gorillas to 340 counted in the last one in 2006.
This brought the gorilla population in Bwindi to 400 in addition to the 80 primates found on the Uganda tour side of Virunga Massif. The latest findings ranked Uganda highest in the world as far as gorilla population is concerned. Uganda now has got ten groups for gorilla trekking which include Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyanja, Mishaya, Nshongi, Oruzogo, Nkuringo, Bitukura, then new Busingye and Kahungye.
“The Ministry and other authorities are pleased to announce a considerable increase in the mountain gorilla population in Bwindi following a three-week census that was carried out in the park in September and October 2011,” Tourism Minister Maria Mutagamba said at the government Media Centre yesterday.
She said the population of mountain gorillas in Uganda had been confirmed to stand at a minimum of 400. The census was carried out by UWA with assistance from the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), the Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) in Democratic Republic of Congo and RDB from Rwanda.
Currently, Ms Mutagamba said, there were 36 gorilla families at Bwindi and 16 solitary males. Of the 36 families, 10 are habituated for tourism and research. Following the two censuses carried out in the Virunga Massif and in Bwindi in 2011, it was confirmed that the world’s population of mountain gorillas now stands at 880.
The 2010 results showed that there were 480 mountain gorillas at Virunga Massif, which comprises the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda), Volcanoes National Park in (Rwanda) and Virunga National Park (DRC). The 400 gorillas which were confirmed are entirely in Uganda and this means that Uganda is the host to more than a half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas.
UWA Executive Director Andrew Sseguya said: “The increase in the population of mountain gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a testimony to the sound natural resources management policies that are being implemented in the protected areas.”
Dr Sseguya also dismissed claims that the increase in the number of gorillas at Bwindi could be attributed to the insurgency in the DR Congo. He said Bwindi was detached from Virunga Massif where Uganda, Congo and Rwanda share 480 gorillas, with Uganda having 80 of the 480. Therefore, this makes Uganda the highest in gorilla breeding, Dr Sseguya added.