The number of mountain gorillas living in the Virunga Massif in central Africa has soared by 26.3% since 2003, according to a new census. The increase in numbers from 380 to 480 individuals is thanks to “immense” efforts to reduce poaching and disease, scientists.
The 450-square-kilometre Virunga Massif is composed of three national parks: the Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, the Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda and Parc National des Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountain gorillas of the Virunga Massif are making a comeback for a variety of reasons. One key driver is the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, which started to engage local communities in projects that would help them to develop economically in 2003. Many of these communities now keep bees to make honey or make handicrafts for tourists. They don’t need to poach.