Friday, 24 August 2012

Mountain Gorilla Behavior,Diet,Threats and Predators

 Although strong and powerful, gorillas are generally gentle,shy ,retiring rather than ferocious and treacherous . They live in groups of 2-40 individuals, averaging about 11. Groups are led by a dominant male, the Silverback, named for the silvery gray hairs that grow when the male matures. The Silverback serves as the chief leader and protector of the group, to whom all group members defer. He decides when and where to go, rest and sleep, arbitrates disputes among his family members and protects them from rival Silverbacks or human predators. Gorillas usually seeks no trouble but will valiantly defend its family group if threatened.

An adult male called a silverback named for the silvery gray hairs on its back normally leads each group, serving as its chief protector and defender. Gorillas continually rotate through their home ranges of 10 to 15 square miles, feeding and resting throughout the day. Gorillas are nomadic hence they build new nests each day at dusk made out of bent branches in a tree or grasses on the ground.  

These gigantic apes /Gorillas have strong attachments to members of their own group and even when groups meet and mix up and they subsequently part, each of them remaining with its respective unit.
They have a slow rate of reproduction which makes them a species even more threatened. In a 40-50 year lifetime, a female might have only 2-6 living offspring. Females Gorillas give birth for the first time at about 10yrs of age and will have an offspring every four years or more. A male reaches sexual maturity between 10 and 12 years. Because females can only conceive for only about three days each month, the female produces a single young and in rare cases twins.

Newborn gorillas are weak and tiny, weighing about 4 pounds. Their movements are as awkward , but their development is roughly twice as fast compared to that of young human young ones. At 3 or 4 months, the gorilla infant can sit upright and can stand with support soon after. It suckles for about a year and is gradually weaned at about 3.5 years, when it becomes more independent.
Diet 
Animals of this size need a lot of food, how ever these large and strong mountain gorillas are primarily herbivore. and the vegetarian gorilla is no exception. Although they eat a variety of plants-over 100 different species , their favorites include wild celery, bamboo, thistles, stinging nettles, bedstraw and certain fruit. These plants seem to provide sufficient moisture so Gorillas rarely  need drinking water. 
Threats
 The primary threat to mountain gorillas forest clearance and degradation, as the region's growing human population struggles to secure agricultural and settlement land. In Rwanda, Uganda and Congo, a regional conservation program stressing the importance of maintaining the virgin forest watershed and the need to habituate some groups of gorillas for tourist visits has helped ease encroachment.The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), in collaboration with Fauna and Flora International and World Wide Fund for Nature, established the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) to safeguard the last remaining mountain gorillas their habitat as well.Conservation is mainly done through Strengthening gorilla habitat protection through regional collaboration, researching the dynamic between the human population and the natural habitat/wildlife, and working with local communities to develop livelihood strategies that are complementary to conservation objectives.
The coalition has been a great success, but still needs great support from all stake holders. The most endangered of the gorilla subspecies, fewer than 800 mountain gorillas remain in the wild.

Predators 
 Leopards and humans are the only known enemies to mountain Gorillas but Crocodiles are potentially dangerous to lowland gorillas. In western Africa, gorillas are commonly hunted for meat or in retaliation for crop raiding, but in eastern Africa they have been the victims of snares and traps set for antelope and other animals. Poachers have also destroyed entire family groups in their attempts to capture infant gorillas for zoos, but others are killed to sell their heads and hands as trophies.

samuel
prime uganda safaris

Monday, 13 August 2012

Mountain Gorillas

UGANDA`S MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

The mountain gorilla  is one of the two  subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks namely; Mgahinga in south-west Uganda, Volcanoes in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga Mt in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The other specie isUganda found in Uganda's the mighty Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists say
that the Bwindi Gorillas  in Uganda may be a separate subspecies, though no description has been finished. By Spring 2010, the estimated total number of mountain gorillas worldwide was 790 but Uganda has more that half of this World`s Gorilla population.

Mountain gorillas are descendants of ancestral monkeys and apes found in Africa and Arabia during the start of the oligocene epoch (34-24 million years ago). This fossil record provides evidence of the hominoid primates (apes) found in east Africa about 18–22 million years ago. The fossil record of the area where mountain gorillas live is particularly poor and so its evolutionary history is not clear. It was about 9 million years ago that the group of primates that were to evolve into gorillas split from their common ancestor with humans and chimps; this is when the genus Gorilla emerged. Sources say it is not certain what this early relative of the gorilla was, but it is traced back to the early ape proconsul africanus Mountain gorillas have been isolated from eastern lowland gorillas for about 400,000 years and these two taxa separated from their western counterparts approximately 2 million years ago. There has been considerable standing debate over the classification of mountain gorillas. The genus was first referenced as Troglodytes in 1847, but renamed to Gorilla in 1852. It was not until 1967 that Colin Groves the taxonomist proposed that all gorillas be regarded as one species (Gorilla gorilla) with three sub-species Gorilla gorilla gorilla (western lowland gorilla), Gorilla gorilla graueri (lowland gorillas found west of the Virungas) and Gorilla gorilla beringei (mountain gorillas including, Gorilla beringei found in the Virungas and Bwindi).

In 2003 after a review they were divided into two species (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei) by The World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Saturday, 4 August 2012

UGANDA WILDLIFE EXHIBITION-IN GULU
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) exihibited a variety of Uganda tourism products i.e information and tourism promotional materials. The exhibition was held in Northern Uganda (Gulu district) where thousands of people attended at it went for one week as a celebration to mark the world Tourism Day on September 27th, 2011 in Gulu Municipality. Free information related to Uganda‘s tourism attraction was given out by the Uganda wildlife staff in Kampala head offices and well as representatives from Murchison falls Wildlife safari park. The exhibition venue was at the TAKS Centre near to Acholi Inn involved participants like Uganda tour operators, hoteliers, training institutes and students, local communities, government officials among others. The most popular and attractive items during the exhibition carried away by the show attendees included full colour animal posters for different Uganda national parks like the Uganda Mountain gorillas and Uganda`s game reserves, National parks information guidebooks content, new conservation tariff books and a number of resale items used as souvenirs. Among improtant dignotaries in attendance were several ministers and district representatives like third deputy prime minister Retired Lt.General Moses Ali, Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Professor Ephraim Kamuntu and his junior colleague Ms Agnes Akiror Egunyu, minister of state for Water Betty Bigombe were attracted by the Uganda Wildlife stand they were welcome by Dr .Andrew Seguya who also guided them to all the products as displayed on the stall. A clean up exercise was also carried out in Gulu town by artists who were dressed in Uganda mountain gorilla safari suits thus causing a lot of excitement in Gulu streets from there they had to paint Zebra crossing then the Gorilla Service Night.

UGANDA WILDLIFE EXHIBITION-IN GULU
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) exihibited a variety of Uganda tourism products i.e information and tourism promotional materials. The exhibition was held in Northern Uganda (Gulu district) where thousands of people attended at it went for one week as a celebration to mark the world Tourism Day on September 27th, 2011 in Gulu Municipality. Free information related to Uganda‘s tourism attraction was given out by the Uganda wildlife staff in Kampala head offices and well as representatives from Murchison falls Wildlife safari park. The exhibition venue was at the TAKS Centre near to Acholi Inn involved participants like Uganda tour operators, hoteliers, training institutes and students, local communities, government officials among others. The most popular and attractive items during the exhibition carried away by the show attendees included full colour animal posters for different Uganda national parks like the Mountain gorillas and game reserves, National parks information guidebooks content, new conservation tariff books and a number of resale items used as souvenirs. Among improtant dignotaries in attendance were several ministers and district representatives like third deputy prime minister Retired Lt.General Moses Ali, Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Professor Ephraim Kamuntu and his junior colleague Ms Agnes Akiror Egunyu, minister of state for Water Betty Bigombe were attracted by the Uganda Wildlife stand they were welcome by Dr .Andrew Seguya who also guided them to all the products as displayed on the stall. A clean up exercise was also carried out in Gulu town by artists who were dressed in Uganda mountain gorilla safari suits thus causing a lot of excitement in Gulu streets from there they had to paint Zebra crossing then the Gorilla Service Night.