Mountain Gorilla in Uganda: a critically endangered species.
The country. Uganda is a country in East Africa. It is located between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (to the west) and Kenya (to the east). To the south, it is bordered by Rwanda and Tanzania and, to the north, by South Sudan. English is the official language of Uganda. Tourism is one of the main industries of the country.
Uganda is part of the region of the Great Lakes of Africa. The south of the country includes a large part of Lake Victoria. The country has 10 national parks and about 50 other protected areas. One of these national parks, the famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, is home to 300 mountain gorillas, about the half of the world's population of this endangered species. This national park, which covers more than 32 000 hectares in southwestern Uganda, is known for its rich biodiversity with more than 160 species of trees, 100 species of ferns, many species of birds and butterflies, as well as several endangered animal species.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has been on the list of world heritage of UNESCO since 1994. Rwenzori Mountains National Park (one of Africa's most beautiful alpine areas with glaciers, waterfalls, lakes and Africa's third highest peak, Mount Margherita - 5,109 m -) and, as far as culture is concerned, the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi in Kampala district are also part of the world heritage.
Gorillas are the largest living primates in the world. They feed on plants. They are found only in dense tropical forests in Africa. They live in groups of usually 5 to 10 individuals. Adult male gorillas have silver hair on their backs and therefore are nicknamed "Silverbacks". The dominant male of the group, usually the oldest "Silverback", ensures the cohesion and the tranquility of the group.
Adult males who leave their original group form a new one when they manage to attract females. Females that are banned by their group never stay alone, but join another group. The gorilla is a peaceful animal. When two groups meet, they rarely fight. When threatened, the male Gorilla beats rapidly and makes very loud screaming sounds to scare his enemies.
There are two species of Gorilla: the western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) found notably in Cameroon, Gabon, and a few other African countries and the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei), much more rare than the first. Each species has two subspecies. Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorillas. Outside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, they are found in the Virunga Mountains (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda). The other subspecies, the eastern lowland gorilla, is found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Researches of Dian Fossey (1932-1985) who studied gorillas daily in their natural environments greatly contributed to a better understanding of mountain gorillas. Dian Fossey was killed probably by poachers in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda because she sought to protect this endangered species.
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The author of the photos. French photographer and wildlife specialist, Marie-France Grenouillet, is the author of the above picture of the Gorilla and several other pictures published in the site Willgoto. Visit her pretty web site http://www.planetstillalive.com that contains countless beautiful pictures of wildlife around the world.