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Rwanda | Drawn to sodium-rich eucalyptus trees, mountain gorillas wandering outside Volcanoes NP

Mountain Gorilla conservation in Rwanda is a great success story. A number of extreme conservation measures – like daily monitoring and protection, veterinary interventions and controlled ecotourism – have enabled the population to bounce back after a precarious low in the 1960s and 1970s that was brought about by habitat destruction and poaching.

But the population remains fragile. Today only around 1,000 mountain gorillas live in two isolated populations: one in the Virunga Volcanoes – straddling the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and DRC – which has increased from 250 to 600 individuals in about 30 years; and a group in the Bwindi National Park in Uganda with about 400 individuals.

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