Conservation organizations in Uganda have begun a new census to count the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the western mountains.
The census will be conducted in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the forested park hosting the largest number of mountain gorillas and Mgahinga National Park.
With an estimated value in tourism dollars of $1 million per gorilla per year, these animals are important both in economic terms and in biodiversity terms. A good number of tourists have gone gorilla trekking in Uganda, an activity that fetches the much needed funds to the coffers of Uganda. Part of the earnings from gorilla tourism are used in enhancing the protection of the mountain gorillas as well as changing the lives of the local communities that live adjacent to the park.
Mountain gorillas only exist in Uganda, Congo and Rwanda, and about half of the approximately 800 apes left in the world call Uganda home.