Conservation Efforts

Anti-poaching and law enforcement
The taxon is legally protected in all three of its range states. Great efforts must be made by the range states to enforce their laws concerning gorillas, including not only effective anti-poaching, but also follow-up of the legal process through arrest and prosecution of all cases judged guilty.

Maintenance of habitat and corridors
The level of legal protection given to Mountain Gorillas and their habitat is appropriate. The four national parks are managed and supported by the governments of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, by international conservation NGOs, and partially financed through gorilla watching tourism. The gorillas are highly vulnerable to disease and poaching but, in comparison with the other gorilla subspecies, they are for the moment relatively secure. However, given the current insecurity and instability in eastern DRC, this could change quickly.

Regulatory provisions
International
CMS: Gorilla gorilla sl has been listed on the Appendix I of the CMS since 2005.
CITES: Gorilla on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endengered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1975.
ACCNNR: Gorilla listed in A class of The African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources since 1969.

National
Management of National Parks, faunal reserves, and game reserves in DRC is delegated to the Institut Congolais pour la
Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), which also manages scientific research. Effective control of many protected areas in the east of the country has been in the hands of rebel authorities in recent years. The Mountain Gorilla is totally protected in DRC, owning, transport and/or trade is forbidden or regulated. A person who captures or kills gorillas in a strict nature preserve faces imprisonment from 1 to 10 years.

The Rwandan Office of Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN) has direct responsibility for management of national parks and
matters relating to ecotourism. The Volcanoes NP therefore falls under its responsibility. The Department of Environment has overall responsibility for biodiversity conservation. The Mountain Gorilla is totally protected in Rwanda. Owning, transportation and/or national trade is forbidden or regulated (ECOLEX). Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is a biosphere reserve.

In Uganda, the Uganda Wildlife Statute provides tools for the establishment of wildlife conservation areas, which fall under two categories: wildlife protected areas (national parks or wildlife reserves) and wildlife management areas (wildlife sanctuaries and community wildlife areas). It is forbidden by the national legislation to capture Mountain Gorillas (Uganda Wildlife Division, 2002a). As all Mountain Gorilla populations occur within protected areas (national parks and reserve), they and their habitat have some degree of protection.

However, political and institutional instability as well as illegal hunting and poaching may undermine such protection. National laws in all range states exist for the control of hunting and capture of gorillas, although wide enforcement of the legislation is difficult due to lack of funds and inaccessibility (Nellemann & Newton, 2002). When Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks were created, access to the park was forbidden for everyone except authorized researchers, which resulted in a significant reduction in illegal activities (Nowak, 1995). Extractive use of non-timber forest products is allowed in certain zones (multiple-use zones) of the park.