Roles And Importance Of Gorillas To The Ecosystem
What are the roles and importance of gorillas to the ecosystem? Mountain gorillas live on high elevations of 1500-4000 meters above sea level in sub-tropical and tropical rainforests of Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo, Volcanoes National Park in north western Rwanda, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park as well as Mgahinga gorilla park in southwestern Uganda.
Mountain gorillas are the world’s biggest primates divided into two species of eastern gorillas and western gorillas. The eastern gorillas are further subdivided into two subspecies of mountain gorillas and eastern low land gorillas while western gorillas are subdivided into cross river gorillas and western low land gorillas.
Gorillas are herbivores’ animals feeding mostly on fruits, stems, bamboo shoots, leaves, and sometimes they supplement their diet with ants, insects, and termites then sometimes eat soil.
Gorillas are humble and gentle primates but can become extremely aggressive when they are disturbed or when they feel insecure but before a gorilla attacks someone, they will first send warning messages with a display of expressions such as grunting, throwing vegetation, and beating chests.
Top 10 facts about mountain gorillas
Around 1,063 exist in the wild
They live in family groups
We share around 98% of our DNA with gorillas
They live in two isolated groups
They have 16 different types of call
They cozy up at night
They’re one of the biggest, most powerful living primates
They can eat all day long
In the wild, gorillas can live to over 40 years old
They’re under threat
Roles of gorillas in the ecosystem
Mountain gorillas produce carbon dioxide which is used by plants and later plants produce oxygen that is used by humans.
Mountain gorillas play a big role in the ecosystem in that they eat fruits and disperse seeds throughout the forest where the seedlings grow and replenish the forest. This is so important for mountain gorillas and other animals in the jungle as well as human beings because the environment is sustained.
Gorillas play a big role in eco-tourism through gorilla trekking activities in that the local people staying near mountain gorilla national parks benefit from gorilla trekking income earned every year.
Gorillas have not only played a good role in the ecosystem but have also been of great importance to the countries in which they are found i.e. Uganda, Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon, Rwanda, DR Congo, and many others and the surrounding communities found within the parks.
Through gorilla tourism, there has been the creation of employment for the local people such as porters, game rangers, and guides and this has led to improvement of people’s standards of living.
There has been the development of infrastructure in and within the national parks where mountain gorillas are found such as building hotels, hospitals, schools, and roads leading to gorilla national parks.
Gorilla tourism has also helped in the conservation of these animals in that the money got from mountain gorilla permits is used for conservation, research, study, and paying people who make this work possible, this has greatly led to an increase in the number of gorillas.
Gorilla tourism has led to the marketing and selling of other destinations in gorilla countries, tourists who come to visit mountain gorillas end up visiting other national parks for game viewing, boat cruises, or birding activities.
In conclusion, the roles and importance of mountain gorillas in the ecosystem contribute to well being of the local community environmentally, socially and economically