Mountain gorillas have a small endangered population that has steadily increased in the years till 2024. Mountain gorillas are the only great apes facing a population increase and many people wonder how many mountain gorillas will be left in the wild in 2024 and remain alive.
In their natural habitats of the tropical rain forests in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo, the total mountain gorilla population is estimated to be 1,063 individuals. This is the highest population of mountain gorillas ever since their conservation started.
The total number of mountain gorillas left in the wild by 2024 is that from the last census in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Sarambwe Forest Reserve in 2018. With the several births in the habitats in the past years, the population has surely increased.
With their remaining numbers, it is popular to refer to the mountain gorilla population as endangered. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List) founded in 1964 is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species categorized mountain gorillas as endangered.
However, previously the mountain gorillas were categorized as critically endangered because they risked extinction. With the increase in the number of mountain gorillas to over 800, they were moved from critically endangered to endangered.
Since 1902, when the mountain gorilla subspecies was discovered, the population has endured years of war, hunting, habitat destruction, and disease; threats so severe that it was once thought the mountain gorilla would be extinct by the end of the twentieth century. However, what was seen as a population at severe risk saw a bright future a couple of years ago because of the increasing numbers.
The Mountain gorilla population is distributed among the two natural habitats which are the Bwindi forest and Virunga massif.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in southwestern Uganda and is the single largest gorilla habitat. It has 459 mountain gorillas from the previous census. However, with the several births after the census, the total is surely beyond that.
Virunga massif is a chain of mountains that traverse the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountains are inhabited by mountain gorillas but in three different parks each in one of the countries.
With the increasing numbers of mountain gorillas, trekking is an activity you should prefer to have during Uganda safaris.