Uganda’s natural habitat of Mountain gorillas on the southwestern part of the country has seen the birth of 3 baby gorillas this year, between the months of August and September 2016. Another baby gorilla has been born this November which is a fourth addition to the gorilla population. The birth of the baby gorillas calls for a round of applause to the conserving energies of Uganda Wildlife Authority, the managing body of Uganda’s National Parks. The conservation bodies that work to increase the population of Apes globally equally deserve to be congratulated.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists mountain gorillas as one of the critically endangered species. Moreover over half of the remaining mountain gorillas on the planet are found in southwestern Uganda’s tropical rain forest. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park are the only hosts of mountain gorillas in Uganda with a total population of about 480 individuals. This reveals why the birth of three baby gorillas is such an immerse addition and a great achievement for conservation.
Uganda presently has a total of 12 gorilla families for visitors to track with 1 family in Mgahinga National Park while 11 families are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The baby gorillas cannot be celebrated without highlighting their families of birth: habinyanja, bushaho Bikyirigi and fourth addition which is from Rushegura family. The Bushaho and Bikyirigi family are still undergoing habituation hence are not yet available to visitors for tracking.
A brief insight about the reproduction of gorillas is useful to appreciate why baby gorillas are worth celebrating.A female gorilla first reproduces at about 10 years of age with a gestation period of about 8 and a half months. The spacing between gestation is about four years moreover almost 26% of baby gorillas do not make it to reproduction maturity. A Baby gorilla will most likely get killed if its mother joins a new family or her family is taken over by another silver back. This is besides other natural causes like diseases that cut the life of baby gorillas short.This means that gorilla populations grow slowly hence every recorded increase is valuable.