World Gorilla Day 2021.
Today is World Gorilla Day.
It’s a day that means a lot to all of us in Rwanda, the home of the Mountain Gorilla, the world’s most endangered ape.
Only about one thousand remain in the wild making it one of the most endangered animals on Earth and they are on the IUCN Red List of wildlife threatened with extinction. Half of the worldwide population of Mountain Gorillas is found in Rwanda and they are a revered and treasured icon for Rwandans.
There is a special celebration that takes place each year for the baby gorillas, adopting the centuries -old Rwandan tradition for naming newborn babies known as ‘Kwita Izina’, “to give a name”. The name attributed to a baby gorilla plays a significant role in the ongoing programme of monitoring each individual gorilla in its family group and habitat. Kwita Izina 2021 will be taking place today, to coincide with World Gorilla Day and 24 baby gorillas will be named.
Huge conservation efforts are being made in Rwanda where Mountain Gorillas have been monitored and studied closely since Dian Fossey began her work with them in 1967, after establishing the Karisoke Research Centre there on 24th September, the date chosen to mark World Gorilla Day. She started the process of habituating them to the presence of human observers, so that she could closely observe and document their behaviours, status, movements and other important information. Today, Fossey Fund trackers and researchers protect and study roughly half of all the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, with the other half protected by the Rwandan national park authorities.
The Mountain Gorillas’ survival depends on limiting human intrusion and disturbance and the conservation of forestry. This means ensuring rural communities can sustain themselves without having to encroach on this land for firewood harvesting. The DelAgua stove plays a vital part in this. Because the stove uses at least 50% less wood than traditional fires and burns just small pieces of twig and tinder, families can cook without damaging the forestry that is crucial for the Mountain Gorillas’ survival. Once on the brink of extinction, the good news is that Mountain Gorilla numbers are slowly rising. And by protecting the Mountain Gorillas we are also protecting 160km2 of precious rainforest and one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.
Visit our Instagram to see fantastic photos of the Mountain Gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, some of which are taken by DelAgua team members.
You can find out more about the amazing work being done in Rwanda by the Dian Fossey Institute at the Karisoke Research Centre and the state of the art Ellen DeGeneres campus currently being built here.
To get involved with helping save the Mountain Gorillas click here.