watercolor on paper 22X24
This life sized portrait is part of the Critical Balance show at the Portland Public Library
Recently changed from ‘critically endangered’ to ‘endangered’ by IUCN
Mountain gorillas live in the war torn Virunga mountains bordering Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo in central east Africa. With just over 1,000 mountain gorillas in existence according to a recent census, they are the only great ape who’s population is increasing. Although they inhabit politically unstable borders, they’re value as an ecotourist attraction and source of pride for citizens of the area have protected their species from poaching, although habitat loss is still an issue.
Mountain gorilla viewing is a huge boon to the countries in which the gorillas live, and revenue sharing with local communities has cemented the importance of these animals to a local ecotourism based economy.