The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF) is dedicated to the conservation and protection of the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas in Africa, their habitat, and working with the people around the National Parks.
We have been doing this ever since Dian Fossey asked for help back in 1983.
The discovery of the Mountain Gorillas took place in the Virunga Mountains, on October 17th, 1902, by Captain Robert von Beringe. In celebration of this event and to promote the preservation of the Mountain Gorillas, the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF) is undertaking several projects to achieve the goal of saving these gorillas from extinction. The Current Projects section gives a brief description of eight of these projects.
1987, only 248 Mountain Gorillas lived in the wild. Because of
projects coordinated by the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund,
there are now over 790 living in the wild. The Mountain Gorilla
Conservation Fund is dedicated to ensuring the future of the Mountain
Gorillas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. By providing a partnership of business, wildlife conservation,
and community development, MGCF addresses the single biggest challenge
facing preservation of these animals today; how do we help communities
in developing areas grow and prosper without destroying precious
habitat or the Mountain Gorillas, who call it home.
Mountain Gorillas are one of our closest relatives, sharing 98.6% of our nuclear DNA. This makes them the closest link to mankind and as a group we are trying to help save these animals from extinction. MGCF introduced veterinary medicine in 1986 with a project called Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. The local governments are convinced that this project saved the gorillas from extinction during the war in the mid-90's. Remember the movie "Hotel Rwanda"
Our Current Goals:
MGCF needs to expand the veterinary programs offered to the local Ugandans and Rwandans. The current facility, Makerere University, has outgrown itself and we need more room to further the education of locals to first, protect the Mountain Gorilla, then expand to other wildlife in Uganda and Rwanda. MGCF needs support in raising funds to build a new expansion to this veterinary school. MGCF is seeking $150,000 to
build phase I and construct a new lecture hall tripling the current capacity.
II will include and a wildlife museum to conserve gorilla remains
for future studying and a labratory for researsh. MGCF was the
first in the world to ever build an "on-location" vet
center in 1986 for the protection of endangered animals. Since
then, 20 expatriate veterinarians have served in the countries
and now locals are being taught veterinary medcine so they can
take over the task of protecting their own wildlife. This is a
great thing for central Africa!
BIG news about gorilla population in Virunga Massif
The results of the census that was conducted in the spring of
2010 show that the number of Mountain Gorillas living in the tri-national
forested area of which Virunga forms a part, has increased by
26.3% over the last seven years - an average growth rate of 3.7%
per annum. Of the 480 Mountain Gorillas living in greater Virunga,
14 are Solitary Silverbacks, and the remaining animals live in
one or other of the population's 36 family groups. If you add
together the 306 gorillas that we know to have been living in
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in 2006, with those living in greater
Virunga, and throw in the four orphans living in the Senkwekwe
Centre, you get 790 - the global population of a critically endangered
Gorillas climb a 14er to help save Mountain Gorillas.
Next scheduled Silverback Summit Club climb
is Mt. Bierstadt on August 12, 2012