News that Soco will stop exploring for oil in Africa’s oldest national park, Virunga, is a monumental win for conservation and for the people who depend on the park. Virunga is home to astounding biodiversity and rare wildlife, like critically endangered mountain gorillas.
A major victory in the campaign to stop oil exploration in Africa’s Virunga National Park—home to more than half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. Thanks to a complaint filed by WWF, the company exploring for oil will be examined for alleged violations of environmental protections and human rights related to its operations in Virunga.
A population increase for mountain gorillas is proof that the intense and innovative efforts of the conservation community are bringing positive change. A recent census by the Uganda Wildlife Authority identified 400 mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park bringing the overall population estimate to 880, an increase from the 786 estimated in 2010.
Gorillas, the largest living primates, make their homes in central Africa. Poaching, disease and habitat destruction remain threats for gorillas, and WWF is working to designate new protected areas where populations can thrive.