Habitat loss of mountain gorillas

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Habitat loss of mountain gorillas

Mountain Gorilla: an Endangered Species

While it is true that they are large, powerful creatures, they are Habitat loss of mountain gorillas gentle and affectionate. Mountain gorillas are easygoing vegetarians who lead a peaceful, playful life.

Large males patiently allow young gorillas to climb all over them without a murmur of protest, and they are not aggressive toward humans unless they are threatened. As primates, humans and gorillas share a common ancestor. Humans did not evolve from gorillas; rather, humans and gorillas simply took separate evolutionary paths about 10 million years ago.

We seem to have a special affinity for these animals despite our differences. Do gorillas also recognize this ancient connection?

Habitat loss of mountain gorillas

Mountain gorillas are one of the most endangered animals in the world. Scientists estimate that there are about individuals, living in 2 populations of about each, separated by about 20 miles.

Their entire world consists of square miles of high-elevation rain forest in east-central Africa. They are endangered from habitat loss, poachingand war. Decades ago they were on the brink of extinction, when conservation measures reversed the decline and started them on the road to recovery.

Continuing political unrest threatens to undo almost 20 years of remarkable conservation work. Description and Natural History The mountain gorilla is one of two subspecies of gorilla. The other subspecies, the lowland gorilla Gorilla gorilla gorillais the species found in zoos. There are no mountain gorillas in captivity.

The names of the two subspecies reflect their habitat: Mountain gorillas are herbivores, eating plants like wild celery, thistle, and nettles. Special treats are bamboo and bracket fungus.

Their food plants grow profusely in the cool, moist mountain climate of their range in Rwanda, Zaire, and Uganda. Gorillas live in family troops led by the largest male, called the silverback because of the beautiful silver fur on his back.

They are fiercely protective of their young and will defend them literally to the death. Poachers after baby gorillas for international trade often have had to kill entire families to capture their quarry.

Habitat loss of mountain gorillas

Mountain Gorilla Endangerment Causes and Responses to the s: Beginning early in the 20th century, collectors and hunters from Europe and the United States began to capture or kill mountain gorillas. In 25 years over 50 mountain gorillas were taken as trophies or for collections. The gorillas were relatively protected untilwhen civil war broke out and park protection disappeared.

Poachers set out snares to capture animals for food, and gorillas were caught in the snares. The gorillas also were killed intentionally for their meat and parts; gorilla hands and heads were sold as souvenirs to tourists.

In addition to being killed and captured, the gorillas have lost large amounts of habitat to agriculture. The countries in which they live have some of the highest human population densities in the world.

Environmental Poems

Every acre that is not protected is farmed. In40 percent of the remaining forest was turned over to a European-sponsored agricultural scheme. Mountain gorillas live in islands of mountaintop habitat in a sea of human settlement See Island Biogeography.

Sounds of children playing in the fields penetrate into the park, a vivid reminder of the relentless pressures an exploding population places on gorilla habitat. Beginning inshe and her staff regularly patrolled the forest and removed snares set to capture antelope and other animals. Conservation Begins A new era in gorilla conservation began in the late s when an international consortium of conservation organizations established the Mountain Gorilla Project to bring gorilla tourism to the area and educate Rwandans about the gorillas.

The success of this program vividly demonstrates how much a group of dedicated individuals can accomplish. Gorillas were placed in carefully controlled groups so tourists could view them at close range. Similar programs were started on the Zaire and Uganda sides of the volcanoes where the gorillas lived.

Rwandans recognized that protecting the gorillas was in their economic interest. Gorilla populations in Rwanda have risen from a low of in to about Civil War Civil war broke out in Rwanda in the early s. Surprisingly, the war itself did not decimate gorilla populations.One of the more surprising mountain gorilla facts is that young mountain gorillas are said to resemble human children.

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Researchers and other human observers regularly note the similarities in behavior between human children and mountain gorillas when they are three to six years old. They constantly face threats relating to habitat loss.

Despite recent increases in numbers, both mountain gorilla populations face serious threats to their survival from habitat loss for agriculture and extraction of resources (cattle grazing, firewood collection, poaching for smaller animals; Mehlman ).

Too much pollution, loss of biodiversity, not enough clean fresh water, soil contamination, deforestation, global warming are just some of the Environmental issues we are facing today.

After a century of decline, tiger numbers are on the rise. At least 3, tigers remain in the wild, but much more work is needed to protect this species that’s still vulnerable to extinction. MOUNTAIN GORILLA AN ENDANGERED SPECIES. Gorillas are one of the most feared animals in the world, thanks to movies like King Kong and Congo.

While it is true that they are large, powerful creatures, they are also gentle and affectionate. The war in Rwanda in the early s and years of civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sent waves of refugees into the region around the Virunga Mountains parks that are home to more than half the mountain gorilla population, leading to poaching and destruction of gorilla habitat.

Nature and Animal Conservation — Global Issues