880

Mountain Gorilla

Africa

880

Gorilla beringei beringei

Endangered

  • Deforestation of its main habitat to give way to livestock farming and agricultural lands
  • Charcoal production destroys its natural range
  • Vulnerable to traps set for other animals
  • Vulnerable to diseases when in contact with humans

As the name implies, Mountain Gorillas are forest-dwelling herbivorous primates that can be found in elevated forest grounds that can be as high as 13,000 feet. Because of its thicker fur as compared to other ape species, they can survive below freezing temperatures.

A subspecies of the Eastern Gorilla, Mountain Gorillas live in two distinct places: first is within the volcanic region of the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; second is in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

One of the major threats to the survival of Mountain Gorillas is the continued degradation of its primary habitat. Forests are cleared out to be used for livestock farming, agricultural lands, and human settlements. The already limited natural resources are turned into firewood and charcoal.

Because of continued forest fragmentation and human encroachment in its natural forest territories, Mountain Gorillas are forced to stay higher for longer periods of time – a dangerous situation that can lead to death.

And when they come in contact with humans, it makes them vulnerable to catching diseases because they have not developed immunities for it.

Their dwindling population is also attributed to injuries from snares set for other animals such as bush pigs and antelopes which can lead to serious injuries. Though poaching of Mountain Gorillas is rare, there is still a demand in the foreign market for them to be used as captive specimens and trophies. Unfortunately, there is no official record of any surviving gorilla while in captivity.