KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Experts are counting the endangered mountain
gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern
Uganda, seven years after the last census was held.
The census started
in March this year and is still ongoing, according to Bashir
Hangi, Communications Officer of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA),
a state-owned agency charged with conservation of wildlife.
Hangi told Xinhua on
Tuesday that the exercise is being carried out to enrich the
conservation data as well as plan for the primates.
The last census was
held in 2011 and the results showed that Uganda is home to about
400 gorillas, half of the world’s number of mountain gorillas.
An earlier census conducted in 2006 showed that the park had a
minimum of 302 gorillas.
The other only part
of the world that has mountain gorillas is the Virunga Massif,
which straddles the shared border areas of Rwanda, Uganda and
the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi is not connected to
this Massif. A census carried out in this Massif in 2010 showed
the area had 480 gorillas.
according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species, are a highly endangered sub-species of primate. They
live in forests that have suffered from considerable human
impact in the form of timber extraction and other human
The primates are
also a major source of tourism revenue to countries that host
Hangi said tourists
who come to see the gorillas contribute a considerable
percentage to the Uganda’s tourism revenue.
Tourism is Uganda’s
main foreign exchange earner and the sector contributed up to
1.35 billion U.S. dollars to the export basket in 2016,
according to government figures.