The ecology of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park
What is the ecology of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda? Gorillas, like all other great apes, dwell in the rainforest. Only chimps can be found in the African tree savannah. Every day, the gorillas move about their habitats, from one feeding site to another. They live nearly entirely on plants, which they consume in vast quantities. Gorillas cannot survive in the absence of trees. They only leave the woodland to hunt for food in the open grassland.
The grasslands that connected these refuges were unsuitable for gorillas. When the rainforests returned to the tropical regions of Africa, the gorillas could only travel as far as the Ubangi and Congo rivers. As a result, the western and eastern gorillas were separated for a long period and followed separate developmental routes. They are now noticeably different in terms of both exterior traits and genetic components.
Although the distribution range of the gorilla appears to have changed little in recent decades, its habitat has become much more fragmented and encroached upon as forested areas have been reduced and cultivated to the point of isolation. Gorillas have already become extinct in some locations, and forests have been devastated in others. As a result, gorillas are frequently confined to small, isolated enclosures.
Only 700 mountain gorillas exist in the world, and they are only found in three countries: Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bwindi is home to approximately 60% of them. Gorillas, like humans, live in families, with the male, known as the “silverback,” serving as the family’s leader. This gorilla takes around two years to accept human visitors.
Male gorillas are typically twice as large as females and weigh between 350 and 500 pounds. Silverback refers to males who have silver-colored backs. Mountain gorillas have long, dark hair, as opposed to the lowland gorilla’s brownish gray. Their lifespan is approximately 50 years.
They eat plants and are herbivores. As a result, flora can be found in the Virungas’ mountainous sections. Gorillas migrate for food and can traverse large distances, especially when food is scarce. Every day, an adult gorilla consumes over 60 pounds of plants.
Gorillas are large, powerful animals that live in groups of two to thirty individuals. Gorillas mate all year round. Female gorillas can have up to six offspring in their lifetime when they reach the age of 12. Mountain gorillas are only found in two places: the Virunga Volcanic Range in Middle East Africa (which includes three national parks in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Males leave their initial group at the age of 11 and migrate with other females for roughly a year before founding their own troop and reproducing. For around 4 years, the mother gorilla is a silverback, and the silverback looks after the orphans and weans.