Uganda enjoys increase in mountain gorillas

19th Nov 2012

Efforts to save the critically endangered mountain gorilla in Uganda are paying off, thanks in part to funds generated by tourism.

The number of mountain gorillas in the country now stands at 400, a 2011 census shows. This is up almost a third since 2006, when there were only 302.

The total from the 2011 census accounts for nearly half the overall population of mountain gorillas in the wild in Africa, which stands at 880 - Congo and Rwanda are home to the remainder of the Gorilla beringei beringei species.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been praised for its role in providing a safe, sustainable habitat for the creatures, which play a big role in the tourism industry.

The forested tracts of jungle in the south-west of the country, which have been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, are a big draw for tourists seeking to get off the beaten track and see its majestic wildlife.

Uganda's tourism ministry said: "The increase in the population of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is testimony to the sound natural resource management policies that are being implemented in the protected areas. This result confirms beyond reasonable doubt that Uganda's conservation efforts are paying off."

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