Why are Gorillas Endangered?

Why are Gorillas Endangered? To start with, mountain gorillas are termed to be the endangered species of Gorillas found in only 3 East African countries including Uganda the pearl of Africa with in Bwindi impenetrable national park the top destination for Gorilla trekking that thrills with the largest population of still surviving mountain gorillas almost more than a half of the entire population resides in Bwindi, Mgahinga Gorilla National park that harbors only 1 gorilla family in Uganda, Volcanoes national park the only park in Rwanda the land of a thousand hills where one is able to trek gorillas and finally Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Why are Gorillas Endangered?

Mountain gorilla trekking has been considered the top tourist activity done in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo with their permits varying in rates depending on the country one intends to trek in. A Ugandan gorilla trekking permit costs $700, $600 & UGX 250,000 for Foreign Non Residents, Foreign Residents and East African community member states respectively. For Rwanda, a gorilla trekking permit costs $1500 and for Democratic Republic of Congo, a gorilla trekking permit costs $400 for high season and $200 during low seasons. These gorilla permits are always obtained via the respective bodies governing each park in different countries. For instance in Uganda, a gorilla permit is issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) the body responsible for managing all the protected areas in Uganda and its headquarters are strategically located in Kamwokya. While in Rwanda, a Gorilla trekking permit is issued by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) while in Congo a Gorilla trekking permit is issued by Virunga Park Management Officials. These permits are valid only for 24 hours and each gorilla family is visited by a maximum number of 8 trekkers per day as long as the trekkers are above the age of 15 year which is the set age limit for Gorilla trekking both in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. There is a need to always follow the guidelines especially the rules and regulations given by experts while on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and DRCongo in their natural habitats and these include lowering the voice to avoid scaring away the gorillas in their habitats, no dumping rubbish in the park, keeping a social distance of about 7M from Gorillas, No smoking, eating or drinking in presence of Gorillas, no trekking gorillas if having flue like symptoms, no using flash lights while taking photographs and in case a gorilla charge, follow the guidelines as instructed by the ranger guides.

Why are Gorillas Endangered?
Gorilla Trekking Safaris

 And with several travelers overwhelmingly visiting East Africa shows that Gorillas are still the top tourist attractions in Uganda Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo though they are still considered to be critically endangered primates in the wild. However, the good news is that their population is increasing though at a slow pace due to their slow breeding rates and other factors.

Why are Gorillas Endangered?

Back to our question as to why Gorillas are endangered, here are the major top factors as to why Gorillas are termed as endangered primates and they include;

  • Diseases, there are some diseases that affect mountain gorillas. For instance take an example of Ebola outbreak in Congo that saw death of a huge population of gorillas bringing their status to being critically endangered almost at a point of total extinction though the population is recently growing but obviously at a slow pace.
  • Habitat loss, gorillas have been facing the challenge of habitat loss probably due to the increased population thus locals encroached on the forest and cleared part of their habitats for agriculture purposes, construction of roads, building, commercial timber and many more. This in turn becomes a threat to the endangered mountain gorillas as some of the Gorillas end up isolating themselves thus affecting the breeding rate of these rare primates that result into Gorillas being endangered. 
  • Hunting and poaching, as the demand for bush meat rises, Gorillas end up facing the threat of being endangered since their production rate is slow thus even a slight decline in their population can easily be felt for a long period of time. Most of bush meet lovers think that it’s so prestigious to have a taste on meat of a Gorilla thus increased level of poaching as poachers be targeting the readily available market. Also, apart from being hunted as bush meet, poachers also sell off different parts of Gorillas to traditional healers who believe that they can be used to create medicine as well as magical charm. However, in some cases, Gorillas fall into traps set up for other bush animals and end up losing their lives and this makes the Gorillas endangered.
  • Political factors like wars also put the lives of these great apes at a great threat. This is because once the country experience a war, some of the habitats for Gorillas turn into battle fields thus killing the Gorillas and some fleeing away and dying of diseases.

In conclusion, the population of mountain Gorillas to thrill on Gorilla Trekking tours is currently more than 1000 which brings in hope and need for more efforts on conservation programs to see this population rising higher.

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