The population of the mountain gorillas in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda has increased by more than 120 as per the figures of the latest Mountain Gorilla census.
The census was started in 2016 to establish the new number of mountain gorillas in the greater Virunga Massif, which covers 8 volcanoes that are in the areas across Uganda, Rwanda and DRC covering 3 National Parks.
The Census was conducted by the Great Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC), who released the results on Thursday at Serena Hotel in Rubavu, Rwanda.
The results indicated that the total population of gorillas has increased from 480 to 604 in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park.
This figure however, doesn’t include the number of gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda which stood at 400 in 2011.
This in effect brings the mountain gorilla population in the region to over 1000.
GVTC officials say the census is still ongoing and that the second phase will be complete in August 2019.
Conservationists took to social media to celebrate the big milestone.
Kaddu Sebunya, a renowned conservationist said, “The enormous conservation efforts in the region have not been in vain and we celebrate with all partners in the Virunga”
World Wildlife Fund tweeted, “We celebrate the great news from the Mountain Gorilla Census, and we also remember the rangers that have lost their lives protecting these majestic icons of the Virunga and Bwindi. Your efforts have not been in vain”
The Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director Sam Mwandha welcomed the Gorilla census results and also committed to further improve conservation and collaboration.