Mountain Gorilla

Gorilla beringei beringei

Description

- Mountain gorillas are covered with fur. (Wikipedia-Gorillas (WikiG))

- They stand 4-6 feet, and weigh 300-485 pounds. (National Geographic (NG))

- They are very social, and communicate with grunts. (Wikipedia-Mountain Gorillas (WikiMG))

- The silverback will protect its group at the cost of its own life. (WikiMG)

Food/Diet

- Mountain gorillas are primarily herbivores. (WikiMG)

- Their diet consists of mainly shoots, leaves, and stems. (WikiMG)

- They eat over 100 different species of plants. (African Wildlife Foundation (AWF))

- Their diet is rich of herbs, so they do not have to drink much. (Travel Hemispheres-Diet (THD))

Habitat

- It lives in southwestern Uganda, northwestern Rwanda, and eastern Congo. (Travel Hemishpheres-Location and Habitat (THLH))

- There are about 350 of them in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. (THLH)

- They live in altitudes between 7,200-14,000 feet, where vegetation is dense, and it is misty and cold. (WikiMG)

- They sleep in nests built on the ground or in trees. (WikiMG)

Adaptations

- They stay in packs and huddle when it gets cold. (WikiG)

- Their fur keeps them warm and keeps insects from biting them. (Seaworld-Adaptations (SWA))

- Their skull protrudes to protect their eyes. (Seaworld-Physical Characteristics (SWPC))

- They are able to digest cellulose and extract nutrients from it. (Out of Africa (OA))

Touched by a Wild Mountain Gorilla (HD Version)

Why Are They Endangered?

Humans:

- Poaching: The gorillas are maimed or killed by traps set for other animals. (WikiMG)

- Habitat Loss: The expanding of human settlements involve removing the gorillas. (WikiMG)

- Fragmentation: The gorillas are isolated as a result of habitat loss. (WikiMG)

- Disease: Contact with tourists transmits diseases. (WikiMG)

- War: They can step on mines placed in forests, or be removed by refugees. (WikiMG)

- Ignorance: Many people do not know that they are endangered. (WikiMG)

* Their only non-human predator is the leopard. (OA)

What Is Being Done To Help?

IGCP (International Gorilla Conservation Program):

The IGCP works at several levels: (IGCP-Our Work (IGCP))

- They strengthen gorilla habitat protection through collaboration with other regions. (IGCP)

- They work with other communities to develop ways to protect the gorillas. (IGCP)

- They monitor the mountain gorillas. (IGCP)

- They build the capacity of parks. (IGCP)

What Can You Do?

- It is always possible to donate money through the websites of the IGCP and the AWF (African Wildlife Foundation (AWF))

- Although it seems ineffective, simply telling others about the situation will help. (IGCP)

We do not want these magnificent animals, who are 98% genetically similar to humans, to become extinct.