Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Field News (June 2007)

The June 2007 edition of Dian Fossey Field News is now online, with exciting news about two new groups that are beginning to form.

Lone silverback Rano is joined by two females
After he left Beetsme’s group on September 2006, Umushikirano (better known as Rano) became a lone silverback and moved to an area along the side of Mt. Visoke that is rarely covered by the Karisoke Research Center field staff. After 6 months with no sign of him, we were pleasantly surprised to see him again on March 30, not far from his natal group.

Then, on April 1, 2007, Makuba and Mawingu, two adult females from Beetsme’s group, were found in the company of Rano. It is very likely that the silverback approached the group on the last day of March, whereupon he succeeded in gaining the two females.
Bwenge's new subgroup is growing
A new subgroup of mountain gorillas began to form when we observed that Bwenge left Beetsme's group in January. It has now grown to include seven females from Pablo's group, the largest of the mountain gorilla groups that we monitor from Karisoke. The latest additions were on April 16, when Cyiza a (39-year-old female), Ruhuka (7-year-old female) and Faida (6-year-old female) transferred from the temporary subgroup lead by the blackback Musilikale (who separated from Pablo's group on April 8), to Bwenge's subgroup.

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