One of the largest oil and gas development companies in the world, Total SA, has committed to keeping out of all natural World Heritage Sites around the globe, including Virunga National Park. But one company that is not respecting World Heritage status is Soco International PLC, which plans to continue to explore in Virunga - home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.
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.
There is new and critical protection for wildlife and indigenous communities in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. The government of Peru designated three new Amazon protected areas-encompassing nearly 1.5 million acres-securing a tri-national conservation corridor.
On October 18, 2012, Russia established the “Sredneussuriisky” Wildlife Refuge—covering nearly 180,000 acres—which will allow Amur tigers access between Russia’s Sikhote-Alin mountains and the Wandashan mountains in China.