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mountain gorillas information-rwanda/uganda

Mountain Gorillas, rwanda gorillas, uganda gorillas, rwanda gorilla tracking, uganda gorilla trekking holidays, rwanda gorilla vacation holidays.

Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Bonobo and Orangutans are great apes. Humans and great apes are primates. Humans and gorillas share more than 97% of their genetic material. Because of the close relationship with humans they are susceptible to human diseases. Gorilla is the largest living anthropoid. Because there are so few left in the world they are classified as endangered and protected by international law. CITES (the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) makes the capture or the killing of wild gorillas and other endangered species illegal.

There are two species of gorillas, western lowland gorilla (scientific name Gorilla gorilla ) and eastern lowland gorilla ( scientific name Gorillas beringei). The mountain gorilla is a subspecies of eastern lowland gorilla. They are found in two forests island : the Virunga Massif share by Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Mountain gorillas have long fur to help keep them warm and dry in the cool temperatures and frequent rains of their mountains home, in contrast with lowland gorillas from warmer climates in western Africa who have short fur. Gorillas are “sexy flagship species” as they look like human being with their morphology and that with share the same ancestor.

Most gorillas live in family groups that can be as large over 40 individuals. Larger groups can have several silverbacks and blackbacks. Mountain gorillas live in a stable family group lead by a silverback named because of the silver fur that cover his lower back. This tells the other gorillas that he is sexually mature. A young silverback who has left his family of birth often lives alone until he can attract females from other groups to join him
Gorilla age groups are divided as follow:
-Infant 0 to 3,5 years
-Juvenile 3,5 to 6 years
-Sub adult 6 to 8 years
-Adult female from 8 years
-Adult male 8 to 11 years
black back
-Adult male over 12 years

Mountain gorillas are polygamous. The dominant silverback is entitled to mate with all females. When a blackback or a young silverback has grown bigger and stronger , he will fight the older silverback and take control of the family responsibilities or he will leave the group to attract other females and begin his own family. The silverback is the leader of his family group. His job is to protect his family members and area surrounding them. They may be more than one silverback in a group. The older more experienced is in charge. A silverback is gentle with other family members. Young gorillas are often seen sitting by him or climbing on him. Gorillas are protective of their family but will attack anyone who tries to harm them. A silverback can weight between180-230 Kg and height 1,70 –1,80 m maximum

A gorilla group could have many adult females. The older females are leaders to younger ones. Once mature a female will leave the group of her birth to mate with a silverback outside of her family. Some females will allow younger silverback to mate with them without the dominant silverback knowledge. Mating happens only when a female is in heat. Like people , she is pregnant for 9 months. She can have one baby about every four to five years. An adult female can have 4 to 5 infants in her life. A newborn can weight between 1,5 to 2kg. Twins have been recorded but still rare. On may 19th 2004, in Susa group , one of the habituated gorilla group of the National park in Rwanda twins were born. So far they are growing well and in good health. It is unusual to have twins who could survive for so long. This is the first case of mountain gorilla twins to live for such a long period of time.

They wake up at sunrise and eat plants through the morning. Gorilla have a slow peaceful daily routine of eating and sleeping. During their resting time they spend much time gently cleaning each other’s fur by picking out dirt, plant parts this is called grooming.. The silverback leads the group to new feeding areas.
Adult gorillas make nests at night to sleep in, as well as day nest for midday naps. They make soft ground “pillows” by folding down flexible leafy stems. Each gorilla sleep in a separate nest except the young gorillas (less than 4 years old) who share their mother’s nests.

An infant gorilla is dependent upon its mother during its three years. Its stays with his mother’s arms for the first few months. After about six months the baby rides on the mother’s back. By the age of four the young gorilla is independent enough and is through nursing.

Gorilla have been known to live for about 45 years

Each gorilla has a different pattern of wrinkle on its nose. This noseprint helps park staff and scientists to tell one gorilla apart from another which is a way to identify individual.

Gorillas have been seen eating more than 100 different kinds of plants and plant parts, some of their favorite foods are bamboo, nettles, celery and gallium. Gorillas eat a lot, but rarely drink water because they get most of their liquids they need from plant they eat. Occasionally gorillas have been seen eating insects. An adult mountain gorilla can eat up to 30 Kg of vegetation a day.

Gorillas communicate with other gorillas by making a variety of different sounds/vocalizations, such like the soft throat-clearing “mhammm” tells the group that all is well, pig-like grunt is a call for discipline because of unwanted behavior. The other way a gorilla can communicates with others is by beating his chest.

Common causes of death in gorillas are snare wounds and poaching, respiratory infections. Poaching remains a threat for the survival of mountain gorillas.

The last census completed at the end of 2003 showed a population of 380 individuals in the Virunga massif (Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo). The evolution of the gorilla population is:

*1971-73 274
*1976-78 268
*1981 254
*1986 293
*1989 324
*2003 380


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