The Endangered mountain gorillas are the only great ape population that is growing despite challenges of threats from poachers, habitat destruction and disease transmission from domestic animals and humans, according to new report from Mountain Gorilla One Health Program.
Mountain Gorilla One Health Program is a partnership between Mountain Gorillas Veterinary Project (MGVP) and the Wildlife Health Center at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
The program attributes the success to a focused effort by the governments of (Uganda, Rwanda and DRC) and conservationists working together to overcome the odds.
The report says “Key to this effort is the work of the MGVP which not only provides care to the mountain gorillas in their wild habitat, but also champions the “one health” approach to conservation”
The one health approach recognizes that to sustain the wild mountain gorillas, the health of their environment including their habitat and the human plus domestic animals with which they interact, must be maintained. It is believed this approach will be key to the hopeful future for this species and may provide the most promising prototype for conservation projects elsewhere.
The report points out MGVP are the cornerstone of the Mountain Gorilla One Health Program which seeks to ensure the long-term survival of mountain gorillas through application of the one health approach to the ecosystem protection.
The new collaboration has already produced tangible results with several donors making important contributions to the program.
Uganda is a home to more than half of the world population of living mountain gorillas while the rest are found in the Virunga volcanoes astride the Uganda, Rwanda and DRC border.