The range states for each subspecies of gorilla can be found at www.gorillafriendly.org/locations.
Many of the issues facing the mountain gorilla range states of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda affect the entire region rather than individual countries, hence IGCP’s emphasis on regional collaboration.
The Central Albertine Rift area is one of the most densely populated regions of Africa. Every square km contains an average of 420 people. In Rwanda, Uganda and eastern DRC, 91% of the population practise subsistence farming, which requires them to convert the forest into agricultural land. Over 96% of these people rely on firewood, often harvested unsustainably, as the main energy supply. Forested parks are often the last remaining source of fuel.
The region where mountain gorillas live has been plagued by instability for decades, but the crisis reached a new peak in 1990. Since its inception, IGCP has been forced to operate against a background of violent conflict, human tragedy and economic disintegration. Conservation work, in these times can be extremely challenging, but can be one thing that can bring people together for a common cause, despite diplomatic tensions between and among countries.
With conflict comes disruption to livelihoods and can lead to increased illegal resource extraction for both subsistence and profit.