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Gorillas are the major key tourism attractions in almost all the countries that are harbor these gentle creatures. There are various categories of gorillas and these have all been listed among the endangered wildlife animal species. The four sub-species of gorillas include the famous mountain gorillas which is also known as gorilla Beringei Beringei, the eastern lowland gorilla that is called grauer’s gorillas, the cross river gorillas and the western lowland gorillas that can easily be spotted in the zoos.
The mountain gorillas can only survive in high altitude areas of the tropical montane rainforest that is one of the reasons why they were named the mountain gorillas, the low land gorillas are only found in the lowland tropical forest areas and the cross river gorillas which is a sub-species of the western lowland gorillas that are habitats of the lowland rainforest at the cross river.
Gorillas are famously known as cooperative gentle creatures that move in groups/families 5 to 10 that are led or headed by the a mature adult silverback gorilla who decides where they will the members of the family will feed from, when they will feed, settles distributes, fights and protects the members of the family among other responsibilities. When the mature silverback gorilla becomes so old another adult silverback gorilla takes over the family responsibility. Habituated mountain gorillas that are found in the various park destinations are so peaceful, gentle and they are used to the presence of the human beings in the jungle.
Where are endangered gorillas found?
All gorillas in the world are on the list of the endangered species and they are found in only three countries of Africa that has national parks that harbors the endangered mountain gorilla species, such as Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
In Uganda there are only two national parks that are home to the endangered mountain gorilla species, this Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, these labors almost half of the mountain gorilla population in the world and are home to 19 habituated mountain gorillas families.
In Rwanda, there is only one national park that is a portion of the Virunga massif conservation area with about 15 habituated mountain gorilla families. This is volcanoes national park that is located in northwestern region of Rwanda.
Congo gorillas are located in Virunga national park that is also a portion of the Virunga conservation massif that is home to the endangered mountain gorillas and Kahuzi Biega that harbors the eastern lowland gorillas.
Why are gorillas in Africa considered as endangered species?
According to the world statics, there has been of in the mountain gorilla population from about 1000 to about 1063 mountain gorilla population despite the threats from the human activities and predators and the population of the lowland gorillas is about 100,000 in world.There are a number of reasons why gorillas are gorillas are endangered species and these include the following facts;
Gorillas are 98% close relatives to human beings, thus according to research there are very higher chances of human beings transmitting communicable to diseases to these endangered species leading to the extinction of the gentle species, this is because when gorillas interact with a person who has a the communicable diseases like flue, cough among others, one gorilla will acquire and spread the disease to the rest of other gorillas which might affect them up to death thus reducing on the gorillas in the world making them extinct.
The survival of gorillas in the world is dependent on habitat adoptability. For example some mountain gorilla can only survive in the high altitude areas of the montane tropical rain forest and the lowland gorillas in the lowland rainforests. The tropical rainforests have been threatened by human practices through encroaching on the tropical rainforest such as cutting down trees for farmlands, for settlement. This has led to habitat loss in a long run exposing the gorillas to the unusual environment that does not support their behavior patterns of life.
Gorillas feed on huge quantities of food everyday which majorly plants leaves stems, branches, fruits, shrubs, wild insect but this is the least percentage. This is one of the reasons they can’t be captivity and they live their time eating every now and then from morning until evening moving from one place to another.
Gorillas in their designated habitats have suffered a lot of social, political wars and unrest for examples gorillas in Congo have been undergoing this kind of experience where they have been always been shot to death by rebels that hide in the tropical rainforest of Virunga national park thus reducing on their population of the remaining gorillas in the world.
Illegal poaching practices from the surrounding communities to sell live gorillas to the international market. The gorillas got by poachers majority of them fail to survive where they have been taken thus they die leading to extinction due the fact that they can only survive in their natural environment. Gorillas are not only poached for pet trade but other reasons like a hunt with an intention enjoying the bush meat, for witch craft purposes by the locals people and it is regarded as medicine in the tradition culture. This puts the number of gorilla population at threat.
How to save the mountain gorillas?
Saving the mountain gorillas begins with me and you so as to ensure the sustainable gorilla tourism for the next coming generations. Very many travelers will wonder how we do this but the practice is simple and practical. Such as
Taking conservation rules and regulations serious at all points, this involves keeping a distance from the mountain gorillas when visited for example a distance of 7 km to avoid spreading communicable diseases to the endangered gorillas.
Sensitizing and making awareness to the local community about the importance of the gorilla tourism in their community, they as they can reduce on the poaching practices and value the mountain gorillas found in the community, as well as reporting in case regarding an harm to the gorillas from their fellow colleagues to the authorities.
Participating in the gorilla trekking experience due the fact to every dollar of gorilla tourism, a certain percentage is shared to the surrounding communities in terms of infrastructure development such as construction of hospitals, schools, and roads among others so as to improve on the standards of living of the surrounding communities and in a long the communities will be in position to appreciate gorilla tourism and value the gorillas found in their communities.
In conclusion although the gorillas are as well as threatened by their key predator the leopards, this is to a small extent. The gorilla population in the world has been highly threatened by human practices therefore they are the second predators to the gorillas thus leading to extinction in their population in the habitats that they are situated