When it comes to rare mammal species in Uganda, almost immediately the mountain gorilla is mentioned. All gorilla subspecies are critically endangered by both natural and human activities that hinder them to continue thriving in their natural settings.
Threats to Gorilla Conservation
There are several threats to gorilla conservation. These include:
Habitat loss and modification due to human activity is a primary threat to gorilla survival. Agriculture, logging, fuel wood and forest product collection, and grazing domestic animals all degrade gorilla habitat and are problems that only increase as the human population in Africa grows.
Invasive Alien Species
Gorillas are highly susceptible to human diseases, and where they are not immune to. The influx of poachers, soldiers, local communities, and domestic animals facilitates the spread of pathogens in small communities.
More threatening than habitat loss in some areas, hunting of gorillas for meat as well as capture of animals for collections are other hazards greatly affecting gorilla populations across Africa. Where human populations encroach on gorilla habitat and forest products such as fuel wood and timber are sought, poaching is generally also a problem. There are strict rules that have been set to safe guard the boundaries of the national parks.
The bush meat market targets more animals than primates, snares and traps are set for duikers, pigs, and rodents as well Unfortunately, snares are frequent causes of human-induced injuries to gorillas and can lead to loss of limbs or severely painful deaths if not treated (Gorillas that are caught in snares struggle to free themselves and are often cut on their limbs, hands, and feet; if these cuts become infected, without proper medical attention, the gorilla may likely die
There are accidents that have been reported in the neighboring Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. One of the eldest gorilla in the families of Bwindi died from the accident where it fall off the branch.
Fires started outside their range by local farmers, hunters, and pastoralists can get out of control and sweep through the dry forest, causing significant damage.
War and civil unrest are indisputable causes of loss of biodiversity in Africa. Well armed insurgents seek refuge in forests, move between borders, set up camps and kill gorillas for subsistence usage or sport. Moreover, masses of displaced people seek food and shelter as they flee from violent conflict. This has resulted in large tracts of land being cleared for fuel wood, hunting of gorillas for food, and transmission of disease between humans and gorillas.
Large and imposing, gorillas are often perceived as dangerous by most humans who share their range and their image is not helped when they periodically raid plantations in some areas Furthermore, gorillas that attack and seriously injure farmers on land adjacent to parks are even more despised and targets for retaliation Natural Disasters.
News and Updates about conservation in Mgahinga National Park