Today is World Gorilla Day, the gorillas which comprise two species the western and eastern gorillas and are further divided into four subspecies mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, Cross River gorillas, and western lowland gorillas are one of the critically endangered species of animals in the world.
The gorillas are one of the four famous apes, humans, orangutans, and chimpanzees complete the cluster. Due to loss of habitats, low reproduction, animal trade, and climate change, the gorillas are restricted in the great central tropical rainforests of Africa.
Today is the day, the world recognizes these critically endangered apes to celebrate the tireless work done by the different conservationists and gorilla destination government authorities to keep the gorillas alive for the generations to come.
Here is what the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a wildlife management body in Uganda responsible for protecting and managing the gorilla habitats of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park had to say on this day through the press releases which they posted across their various social media platforms.
“On this auspicious occasion of World Gorilla Day, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) takes great pride in its remarkable achievements in the realm of gorila conservation. Our dedicated efforts have borne fruit, as we currently oversee the well-being of half of the endangered mountain gorilla population in two of our pristine national parks: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Since our last comprehensive gorilla census in 2018, we are thrilled to report the heartwarming news of 79 new births within various gorilla families.
Our approach to managing the gorilla population is firmly rooted in science, with research and ecological monitoring programs employing cutting-edge tools such as the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART).
Collaborating with esteemed partners like the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society, Max Planck Institute, as well as several local and foreign universities, we gather crucial scientific data.
This data informs gorilla habituation for research and tourism purposes while preserving the equilibrium between habituated and wild gorilla populations.
Optimism runs high as we anticipate the continued growth of the gorilla population under our watchful stewardship. Our commitment to monitoring and safeguarding the health of these magnificent creatures remains unwavering, thanks to our invaluable partnerships with organizations like the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and Conservation.
Through Public Health. We have implemented stringent measures to prevent the transmission of diseases from livestock and humans to gorillas, including meticulously crafted gorilla tracking protocols, standard operating procedures, and the Gorilla Friendly Pledge.
Notably, our vigilant efforts shielded gorillas from the global COVID-19. pandemic, with zero reported infections among our gorilla families
UWA is also deeply committed to enhancing protection and fostering harmonious coexistence with neighboring communities along the park’s periphery.
To mitigate: human-wildlife conflicts, we established the Nkuringo buffer zone in the early 2000s, which has not only provided a suitable habitat for gorillas beyond park boundaries but also minimized damage to crops and property.
Our collaboration with community groups, known as Human Gorilla Conflict Resolution Teams, ensures the safety of gorillas when they venture outside the park and facilitates their return to their natural habitat.
Mountain gorillas, being iconic and charismatic species, play a pivotal role in generating tourism revenue, which in turn supports a substantial portion of UWA’s operational expenses. A portion of this revenue is shared with local communities.
Since the inception of the revenue-sharing program in the early 2000s, park edge communities have received Ugandan Shillings 7 billion from gorilla tourism revenue significantly contributing to improving their livelihoods and overall quality of life.
Furthermore, It’s important to recognize that the gorillas under our protection do not confine themselves to national borders. They engage in transboundary migration, traversing across neighboring countries.
As responsible stewards of these majestic creatures, we actively participate in collaborative frameworks as a range state in the Greater Virunga Landscape, ensuring the seamless protection of these transboundary migratory groups.
On this World Gorilla Day, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to conserve these endangered mountain gorillas as a flagship species,not only for the benefit of our local and national communities but also for the international community at large. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your support and dedication to this noble cause.”
Happy World Gorilla Day,