The outlook for eastern Africa’s mountain gorillas is growing brighter, as a recent census released on Dec. 16 shows that the subspecies’ numbers have risen since 2011. Scientists believe there are now at least 1,063 mountain gorillas living in the wild. Tara Stoinski, the CEO and chief scientific officer of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, said the results of the latest census were "incredible, given what’s happening to other wildlife populations, and given the high level of threats that they face." "It’s a real testament to the level of conservation action that’s happening for these populations," Stoinski told Mongabay. A team participates in a training for the census. Winnie Eckardt / Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund / Mongabay In the 1980s, the known population of mountain gorillas ( Gorilla beringei beringei ) in the Virunga Mountains had dwindled to just 240 individuals, as lost habitat, hunting, disease and other threats had exacted a costly toll. By late 2018, though, more than three decades of "extreme conservation" involving the day-to-day protection of gorilla families appeared to be having an impact: A 2016 survey of the gorillas living in the Virungas revealed an increase to 604 animals. At the time, scientists pegged […]

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