The mountain gorilla is one of the largest and strongest animals on the planet, yet it is also extremely vulnerable. Little more than 700 individuals survive in the dense forests of Central Africa.

Mountain Gorilla
Photo Credit: Juan Pablo Moreiras / FFI
Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of the eastern gorilla. Like all great apes, they are closely related to humans. But today only two isolated populations remain, one in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, south-west Uganda, and the other on the forested slopes of the Virunga volcanoes, straddling the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The mountain gorilla is larger than any other gorilla, with females weighing about 98 kg (215 lbs) and males weighing up to 160 kg (350 lbs). They live for around 40-50 years.

Mountain gorillas tend to form close-knit groups, defended by the dominant Silverback - the term given to adult males due to the dramatic silvery hair on their back and hips. They are primarily vegetarian, eating leaves and shoots from their forest habitat, occasionally supplemented by larvae, snails, and ants.

There is hope for the mountain gorilla
The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), a partnership between Fauna & Flora International (FFI), African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), has been working to protect the gorillas since 1991. Dedicated conservation initiatives have ensured that mountain gorilla numbers are now slowly increasing. The global population of mountain gorillas has increased by 17% since the start of the Programme.

This work supports local communities
IGCP not only supports the Park Authorities in their efforts to save gorilla, but also helps to ensure local communities benefit from the continued presence of the gorillas. People living around the Park are some of the poorest in Central Africa. Gorilla-based tourism is a thriving source of revenue and enterprises that use natural resources sustainably, such as beekeeping and mushroom growing, are helping local people and gorillas live together.

Make your mobile work for conservation!
Recycling your mobile can not only reduce the demand for coltan but also directly support gorilla conservation! For every mobile phone it receives, Fauna & Flora International gets £5 for its conservation work.