Mountain gorillas were almost becoming extinct in the 19th century with about 300 mountain gorillas left in the wild, the population has increased in the recent years due to the conservation efforts started by the famous American primatologist Dian Fossey which later led to her death in 1985.
The mountain gorilla census of 2018 showed that there are 1004 mountain gorillas surviving in the wild compared to 2016 where they were 604 and 2010 where they were 480 mountain gorillas in the wilderness.
The mountain gorilla census in 2018 was supported by international gorilla conservation program, institute of tropical forest conservation, Max Planck institute for evolutionary anthropology, Dian Fossey gorilla fund, north Carolina zoo and gorilla doctors. The census was funded by Partners in conservation at the Columbus zoo and aquarium, WWF, fauna and flora international and Berg gorilla and Regenwaldand Direkthilfe.
Mountain gorilla census is always done by experts from three countries that is Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The increase of mountain gorilla population is as a result of intensive conservation provided by Dian Fossey gorilla fund, national park authorities in the three countries and other voluntary organizations supporting conservation of mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorilla population is mainly threatened by habitat loss through humans encroaching in gorilla habitat for farming and settlement, poaching, though this sometimes is not meant for mountain gorillas the snares laid in the forest to trap small antelopes end up trapping mountain gorillas. Diseases such as Ebola outbreak can lead to massive decrease in gorilla population.
Mountain gorilla trekking can be done in the Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Congo, Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.Mountain gorilla permits are very expensive because the money got from permits is used for conservation of mountain gorillas through funding game wardens, rangers and communities living around the park areas.