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Home » Information » Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Records an Increase in the Gorilla Population

Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Records an Increase in the Gorilla Population

Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park records an increase in the gorilla population. For over 3 decades, conservationists in the 3 countries of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo have been undertaking a pain sticking work of delicate and super monitoring of the numbers and breeding process of the mountain gorillas that are found in these above-mentioned countries as this species of great apes was on the verge of extinction as its numbers were below 1000 hence classified as critically endangered.

These gorillas were and are still found in 2 independent sectors one which the Virunga Massif and the Bwindi Serambwe sector.

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The Virunga massif consist of 3 different protected areas which are Volcanoes National Park  Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda and Virunga National Park Congo.

The second sector has 2 protected areas which include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and also Serambwe National Reserve in Congo

The plight of gorillas first popped up on the international after a decade long of conservation works of Primatologist Dian Fossey who was based in the Volcanoes ranges of Rwanda in the 1960s-1980s.

Due to increased interest in conservation of these wild gorillas by the 3 state governments since these gorillas attracted quite a sizeable number of tourists to visit these countries to undertake gorilla safaris and also the conservation world, Different countries developed agencies to monitor the gorillas, in Uganda, this role was played by Uganda wildlife Authority, Rwanda Tourism Board in Rwanda and l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature

With the help of donor funding, population censuses have been held at different time intervals and these have always registered an increment in the gorilla numbers in these 2 gorilla regions.

In the Virunga massif the gorillas have been counted 5 times with the first one being in 1981 when there were only 254 gorillas, the second census was in 1989 and it recorded 320 gorillas the third was in 2003  was registered 380 gorillas in 2011 Virunga massif had 480 and in the last census was in 2018 and it recorded 640 in the same area.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Forest

The bwindi sector has also had a gorilla census conducted 5 times starting in 1997 followed by in 2002, 2006, 2011 and now in 2018 with the first census recording less than 250 of these majestic beings.

In 2018 another gorilla survey was carried out in Bwindi Serambwe transboundary and it registered 459 mountain gorillas, the largest number of mountain gorillas ever recorded in one of the two remaining areas where this Endangered great ape is still found.

This census covered  an area of 340 km2 including Bwindi impenetrable national Park Uganda and Serambwe National Reserve Congo, 459 individual gorillas were found in 50 groups and as 13 solitary individuals.

This is compared with an estimated 400 individual gorillas in 36 groups and as 16 solitary individuals from a survey of the same area in 2011.

This is the fifth population count for this area, and the first to include Sarambwe Nature Reserve.

How was the survey conducted?

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As in the previous mountain gorilla census conducted in the Virunga Massif, survey teams walked pre- determined “recces” (reconnaissance trails) ensuring a thorough coverage of all forest areas to sweep the Bwindi-Sarambwe and search for signs of gorillas, other key mammals, and human activities.

When fresh gorilla signs were detected, the teams followed the gorilla trail to locate three recent night nest sites. A teach of these nest sites, the teams collected fecal samples from nests.

The process was completed twice first from March to May 2018 (62 days) and second from October to December 2018 (60 days).

A second sweep allows to find gorillas that were undetected during the first sweep and thus provides more reliable numbers of gorillas. Fecal samples were analyzed genetically to determine individual genotypes.

The survey teams also collected data on signs and sightings of select mammals, such as chimpanzee and elephants, and human activities, such as snares or tree cutting.

While exercising caution due to the limitations of the study, there were no indications of declines in populations for the select mammals surveyed, including elephants, since 2011.

The survey was conducted by the Protected Area Authorities of Uganda and DRC (Uganda Wildlife Authority and l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature, respectively) under the framework of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration with support from Rwanda Development Board and many other partners and donors.

When combined with the published figure of 604 mountain gorillas from the Virunga Massif as detected as of 2016, the global figure of known mountain gorillas increases to 1,063.

This is a concrete proof that the tireless efforts of various stakeholders are slowly but surely making returns on investment of both energy finances and time since now the gorilla numbers have eclipsed the 1000 threshold required to declare a change in the status of these gorillas from being critically endangered to endangered

Gorilla trekking in Uganda

Experience a magical gorilla trekking with a memorable gorilla safari in Uganda to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

During this gorilla tour in Uganda, you are awarded with an hour to gaze and photograph these magical beings in their natural habitat as they go about their daily rounds.

This Uganda gorilla trip experience still offers you a chance to site several of the 350 bird species in this tropical paradise.

Take a memorable nature walk as you explore this pristine jungle during this Uganda gorilla tour, also don’t miss out on an epic Batwa cultural mash up during this out of the world gorilla tour.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done following the number of days you have, those who have a few days to undertake this Uganda safari activity usually choose to engage in short Uganda gorilla safaris which run from 3 days to 5 days such as a 3 days bwindi gorilla tour while those that more time on their hands can take advantage of long gorilla tours which normally range from 6 days to as many 21 days covering a wide spectrum of Uganda tour visits to several other attractions on the to or from the Uganda gorilla safaris destinations.

Besides gorilla safaris in Uganda, Uganda still has more to offer for example Uganda wildlife safaris carried out in Uganda safari tour destinations like Lake Mburo National Park Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park Murchison Falls National Park Uganda A Uganda wildlife safari to several of these parks gives you an opportunity to encounter the big fives and a tour Uganda to Kibale Forest National Park Uganda,  gives you a chance to encounter the man’s close wild relatives the chimpanzees. You can still take advantage of several of our short wildlife safaris or long Uganda wildlife safaris such as

Rwanda gorilla safaris to Volcanoes National Park give you an opportunity to see any of the 10 gorilla families that have been habituated to give you a fantastic Rwanda gorilla tour experience.

A Congo gorilla safari experience, on the other hand, takes you either Virunga National Park where you have a chance to encounter Mountain gorillas as this park is home to 8 gorilla families or Kahuzi Biega National Park where you will be in for a thrilling moment with the eastern lowland gorillas has positioned itself as one of the best local travel companies that give you an

Here are some of the best safari packages.

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