Mountain gorillas inhabit the mountain slope of the 8 Virunga volcanoes straddling across three Transborder national parks of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, they are the largest primates on earth and critically endangered.
The conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas was triggered by the famous American primatologist Dian Fossey in 1983, she dedicated her life to the conservation and study of mountain gorillas that later led to her death in 1985 in her cabin. At the time of Dian Fossey death, there were less than 300 mountain gorillas left in the world but her legacy kept living and the work of gorilla conservation continued until today we have about 1000 mountain gorillas left in the world.
Mountain gorilla conservation methods
Veterinary medicine and education
The introduction of veterinary education in universities such as Makerere University in Uganda and Ruth Keesling wildlife health and research centre have greatly helped in teaching Africans about wildlife veterinary medicine. The education has also provided a research platform where students learn more about mountain gorillas, many of the graduates now work in national parks including gorilla national parks and this has greatly helped in the conservation and population increase of mountain gorillas.
Set up of gorilla rules and regulations
The set up of gorilla trekking rules and regulations for example not allowing sick tourists to visit mountain gorillas, mountain gorillas are vulnerable to diseases because they don’t have the necessary immunities so any contact with humans can lead to them contracting diseases and easily die. The rules set up have helped in the conservation of mountain gorillas.
Donation to mountain gorilla conserving units
One of the ways to help in the conservation of mountain gorillas is by donating money to the organisations conserving mountain gorillas on the ground. The money got help in funding the work of the organisations.
Including other activities in the park apart from gorilla trekking
There are other activities tourists can engage in while coming for gorilla trekking, this is one of the ways to conserve gorillas by supporting local communities through buying their handmade crafts and engaging in development projects and alternative resources.
End poaching gorillas and illegal trade of gorillas
Penalties have been set for anyone got poaching gorillas or selling mountain gorilla meat, this method has been effective through patrol done by park rangers within gorilla national parks daily and the imprisonment of poachers has scared off most of them.
Provision of education to local communities
Most of the local people kill mountain gorillas with ignorance of their importance to the community; the creation of outreach programs on education about gorillas has created awareness about the importance of gorillas to the local communities.
Participate or organize fundraising campaigns
Anyone can participate in fundraising campaigns, tell their friends and families about the campaigns or organize a fundraising campaign to support the conservation efforts of the endangered mountain gorillas.
The set up of borders on the gorilla national parks has helped in avoiding people’s encroachment to gorilla habitats.