World Gorilla Day

September 24th was World Gorilla Day. Mountain gorilla numbers are on the rise, so it is a good time to celebrate conservation efforts.

Mountain gorillas live in a restricted range in two isolated groups. One group is in the Virunga Volcanoes Region and the other in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Both habitats are surrounded by human settlements and activity, so their range is not increasing.

Gorilla population on the rise

Skilled conservation has meant that the population of mountain gorillas is increasing, however there are still only 1,000 left in the wild so they are by no means off the endangered list.

The international Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) is a key component in the conservation effort. WWF, Fauna and Flora International and Conservation International work together to protect the gorillas.


One of the key elements to successful conservation is working with local communities to help them see the benefit of protecting and preserving wildlife and biodiversity. The IGCP works closely with communities to help minimise any conflict of interest between humans and animals, and help improve the locals livelihood. One example of this in action is ecotourism whereby a small number of paying visitors can view the gorillas in their natural surroundings and learn about the conservation project.


Local communities benefit from tourism jobs linked to the gorilla tours. The income from these endeavours supports both the community and conservation. The number of permits given to tourists is restricted, so revenue is capped in order to balance the needs of the community with the need for preserving the habitat. That gives a clear message that conservation is more important than profit.

If you would like to support the WWF’s work with mountain gorilla’s please visit our Adopt a Mountain Gorilla page.

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