Mountain Gorillas Facts
Mountain Gorillas Facts : Mountain Gorillas are the world’s smallest population one of the two land dwelling subspecies of the eastern gorillas , listed as endangered by the IUCN ‘’International Union for Conservation of Nature .And ,there are two populations of mountain gorillas of which one is found in the Virunga Volcanic mountain of Central African within three famous National parks which are Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Southwest Uganda ,Volcanoes national park in northwest Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo ‘’DRC’’ as well as Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that inhabits half of the population remaining in the world. In 2018 the total population estimated over 1004 individuals and currently are said to be a total of about 1063 individuals in three adjacent national parks namely Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park and Virunga National park and Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Evolution and Classification -Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorillas are descendants of ancestral monkeys and apes to see in Africa. In the way back, the fossil record of the area where mountain gorillas used to inhabit was totally poor and so its evolutionary history is not clear, that occurred about 9 million years ago when the group of primates that were to evolve into gorillas split from their common ancestor with humans and chimps, its time when the genus Gorilla emerged. Moreover, Mountain gorillas were isolated from eastern lowland gorillas for about 400,000 years and these two taxa separated from their western counter parts estimating 2 million years ago. Since then, there has been considerable unresolved debate discussion over the classification of mountain gorillas, not until 1967 when the taxonomist Colin Groves proposed the population of gorillas to be regarded as one species ‘Gorilla gorilla’ ’with three subspecies ‘Gorilla gorilla gorilla’’ western lowland gorillas and ‘Gorilla gorilla graueri ‘lowland gorillas found west of the Virungas as well as ‘Gorilla gorilla berengei’ Mountain gorillas are found in the Virungas and Bwindi. In 2003 these species were divided into two species ‘’Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla berengei by ‘’The World Conservation Union’’ IUNC.
Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorillas have fur which is often thicker and longer than that of other gorilla species, that enables them to live in colder temperature which is one of the Mountain Gorillas Facts.
They are identified by unique nose prints to each individuals
Male Mountain gorillas has height of 161-171 centimeter, a girth rising 138-163 centimeter, an arm span of 2 – 2.7meter. They have a weight of 120 -191 kilometer.
Female Mountain gorillas are smaller with a weight of 70 to 98 kilometers.
They are smaller than the eastern lowland gorillas and other subspecies of eastern gorillas.
Adult male gorillas have more pronounced bony crests on the top and back of their skulls and their heads a more conical shape. Their chests are more powerful which attach to the lower jaw.
Adult females also have these crests but are less pronounced.
Adult male mountain gorillas are called silverbacks when a saddle of gray develops on their backs with age.
The tallest silverback measures 1.95meter tall with an arm span of 2.7meter with a chest of 1.98meter and a weight of 219kilogram.
Habitat and Ecology-Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorillas are inhabitant of the Albertine Rift montane cloud forest, including the Virunga Volcanoes ranging in altitude from 2,200 – 4,300 meters. Are found on the slopes of three of dormant volcanoes that is Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke.The vegetation is totally dense at the bottom of the mountains thus turning onto higher elevation and the forested areas which inhabits the mountain gorillas are often cloudy, misty and cold.
Primary mountain gorillas are herbivore of which the majority feed on diet composed of the leaves, shoots and stems of 142 plant species.
They also feed on bark rooks, flowers and fruit as well as small invertebrates.
Adult males can eat up to 34 kilograms of vegetation per day while a female mountain gorilla can eat as much as 18 kilograms.
Mountain gorilla that live in bamboo forest tend to travel during the few months of the year when fresh shoots are available and climbs into subalpine region to eat the soft centers of ‘giant’ senecio trees.
Unfortunate, in recent years due to conservation effort, humans have settled more into the gorilla’s territory which has pushed farther up into mountains for longer period forcing them to suffer into dangerous deadly conditions, despite that fact, the ongoing threat of poaching, encroaching human population and disease Civil conflict thus leading to decrease of the population of Mountain gorillas.