The endangered mountain gorilla population – which lives in the mountainous forests in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, northwest Rwanda, and southwest Uganda – has exceeded 1,000 for the first time since 2010.
The latest 2016 census says 1,004 mountain gorillas now exist in the world, with 604 living in the Virunga Massif – that spans the three countries – and 400 in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The survey was conducted by the Protected Area Authorities of DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda, Rwandan newspaper New Times reports.
It attributes the increase in the mountain gorilla population to effective conservation policies, collaboration between all three countries, regulated tourism, and veterinary interventions.
Mountain gorillas remain under threat of encroachment of farmers, poachers and armed groups.
The survey comes weeks after rangers banned tourists from entering the park in May after the death of a park ranger in DR Congo and the kidnapping of two British nationals by an armed militia.