HELPING UGANDA’S MOUNTAIN GORILLAS SURVIVE CORONAVIRUS
Humans aren’t the only species suffering from the Coronovirus pandemic. Great apes, elephants, rhinos, and other endangered and threatened African species are also imperiled by this disease and its effects on local economies and conservation efforts.
Mountain gorillas are a conservation success story, the only wild ape population that is increasing, up from a low of approximately 350 individuals in the 1980s. This entire population is wild; no mountain gorillas reside in zoos, and there is no captive breeding program. The largest group, more than 600, live in the 128-square-mile Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda
These populations are sustained by tourism revenue, which pays the salaries of park rangers and other conservation personnel, and is Uganda’s largest industry.
Rangers—in effect, bodyguards—for the apes engage in challenging and dangerous work, spending days in the bush to protect the gorillas and other wild animals from human predation.
With the loss of tourism revenue, ranger patrols have been cut by half, and the gorilla population is vulnerable to poaching as bush meat hunters and others illegally enter the formerly protected territory.
Fewer than 1,200 mountain gorillas remain in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Rafiki, the silverback leader of a family group of 17 in Bwindi, was recently killed by a bush meat hunter, leaving his family without a patriarch and protector, at the mercy of human and animal predators.
Care for Rangers, a registered non-profit, will provide rangers with meal rations, first aid kits, and protective gear, so that patrols across Uganda can be restored to their former levels until tourism can resume. Please visit our website and consider donating.
We are seeking social media influencers and celebrities to promote this conservation campaign. For more information, please see https://www.rangercare.org/