This project protects endangered Mountain Gorillas in Uganda by supporting community members to become Gorilla Guardians - teams of community volunteers who are trained to monitor gorilla health and safely herd them back into the forest when they have strayed out of the protected areas.
There are only 1004 endangered mountain gorillas left in the wild. Everything possible must be done to protect these amazing primates. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is home to approximately half of those that remain. Whilst humans have long been the biggest threat to mountain gorilla survival including through the spread of disease, Conservation Through Public Health sees that, with proper training and engagement, community members can present their best chance of survival too.
We train community members to protect Mountain Gorillas through monitoring their health and preventing human-wildlife conflict. Every day, these Gorilla Guardians collect gorilla faecal samples for testing and observe them for clinical signs of illness as part of routine health monitoring. This provides an early warning system for disease outbreaks. They are also trained to safely herd gorillas back into the forest when they have strayed outside, preventing potential human-wildlife conflict.
The project will support 120 Gorilla Guardians around Bwindi to monitor gorilla health and prevent potential human-wildlife conflicts. This includes recruiting new Gorilla Guardians and providing refresher trainings for existing ones (to update them on the current disease situation). In 2018, 114 out of 282 potential human wildlife conflicts were attended to - and prevented - by Gorilla Guardians. With more trained community members, we hope to prevent all cases of potential conflict.