Mountain Gorillas are Seriously Endangered

Mountain Gorillas are Seriously Endangered

According to researchers, they have found that mountain gorillas are severely inbred. The researchers said that mountain gorillas are among the most intensively examined primates in the wild.

Experts said that Mountain Gorillas are also among closest relatives of man. The researchers have taken blood samples from seven Virunga gorillas and it was found that their close knit populations are facing inbreeding at a high level and this might lead to extinction.

Because of inbreeding, they can be more vulnerable to disease or environmental change. University of Cambridge geneticist Aylwyn Scally said that are seriously endangered and face risk of extinction. The study also found that they are suffering a dramatic collapse in numbers during the last century.

As per the researchers, already they had faced a long decrease going back various thousands of years. Dr. Scally said that they can survive more and can also return to larger numbers if they can be provided help. This is first genetic study of mountain gorillas and published in the journal Science.

“While comparable levels of inbreeding contributed to the extinction of our relatives the Neanderthals, mountain gorillas may be more resilient”, said Copenhagen Zoo geneticist Christina Hvilsom.

According to the researchers, the mountain gorilla that survives in Virunga volcanic mountain on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo may be at risk of extinction. In recent years, the numbers have recovered from 253 living animals back in 1981 to an estimated 880 at present.

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