About Blog

The reason I’m making this blog is because I feel strongly about the critically endangered animals that we could lose in our lifetime, the fact that the next generation might miss out on seeing or knowing about some of these species is worrying, like my generation did for the Javan Tiger. My aim is to raise awareness of this issue by focusing on a number of animals on the endangered species list. It is my hope that gaining public attention through my work, will inspire positive steps towards combating this ongoing problem.

Animals biased on the WWF's Top Ten Critically Endangered Species (http://www.wwf.org.uk/news_feed.cfm?3618/Ten-to-watch-in-2010)

Please note: This blog is for research and personal development towards a final piece for my University project.

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei) adult playing with youngster. Mountain gorillas are distributed throughout Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
© Martin HARVEY / WWF-Canon
The total population of the mountain gorilla is about 700 individuals, split almost evenly into two groups—one in the Virunga range of volcanoes on the Uganda-Rwanda-DRC border and the other in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Some primatologists believe the Bwindi gorillas may be a separate subspecies. Conservation efforts have led to an increase in the Virunga population by 14% in the last 12 years, while the Bwindi population has increased by 12% over the past decade. Despite this success, the mountain gorilla remains threatened.

What are the main threats to Gorillas?
Habitat loss remains one of the greatest threats
More than 100,000 people live in the remote areas where mountain gorillas are found. Their need for land to cultivate has reduced the forest in which the gorillas live to virtual islands in the middle of expanding human settlements.

In 2004, 1,500 hectares of prime mountain gorilla habitat were cleared by illegal settlers in  Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to evidence uncovered by the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature, one of WWF's partners. Convoys of people from Rwanda and DRC destroyed large tracts of the park, home to mountain gorillas and other endangered species, to create agricultural and pastoral land.
Killed during war
As many as 15 of Virunga's mountain gorillas may have been killed since the outbreak of civil war in 1990. Between 1990 and 1994, large numbers of Rwandan refugees fled to camps at the edge of the Virunga National Park, leading to uncontrolled firewood harvesting and increased poaching.During this time, four habituated silverback gorillas were killed, along with some of their group members. Although the refugees left the camps in 1996, continued civil unrest and the presence of armed militias makes survey and conservation work difficult in the DRC's protected areas, which are now in rebel-held territory.
In addition to being hunted for meat, mountian gorillas are also illegally hunted for trophies and live infants.
As more people move into mountian gorilla habitat, and more tourists come to see them, they are becoming increasingly exposed to a variety of human ailments.

Mountain Gorilla
Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) are classed as critically endangered on the red data list , with about 680 surviving in the wild. Mountain gorillas are effectively divided into two distinct populations. The first is confined to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The second is found in the Virunga Volcano Region (VVR), which lies across the international borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These protected areas are situated within one of the most densely populated regions of Africa (420 people/km ²), placing intense pressure on the protected areas. The primary threat to mountain gorillas comes from forest clearance and degradation. Conservation efforts have led to an increase in the Virunga population by 14% since 1987, while the mountain gorillas other home, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, has experienced population increases of 6% over the past decade. Despite this success, the mountain gorillas status remains fragile, and WWF is working to save the great ape’s forest habitat in the mountains of the heart of Africa.


There is only about 680 surviving mountain Gorilla left in the world, and these are split up into two distinct populations groups. One is in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the other Virunga Volcano Region which crosses the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo, these areas are in some of the most populated areas in Africa. The main reasons for the loss in population is because of land increase for humans as well as civil wars in the African nations, the fact that there is hardly any money in these areas create pressure on the Gorilla's for their meat is also a factor. In the last decade or so there has been a slight increase in population but there is still more that can be done-the fact is that these magnificent animals are on the Critically Endangered list: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/39999/0
Portrait of a young eastern lowland gorilla or Grauer's gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri)
© Chris Martin BAHR / WWF-Canon
Mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei) adult playing with youngster. Mountain gorillas are distributed throughout Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
© Martin HARVEY / WWF-Canon
Western lowland gorilla juveniles playing.
© Michelle Klainova
Habituated western lowland gorilla, Dzanga-Sangha, Central African Republic
© ChloĆ© Cipolletta
July 2007: one silverback male and three female mountain gorillas were killed in the Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
© Altor IGCP Goma