Mountain Gorillas Will Gradually Fade Due To Water Shortage
Over the span of 10 years, Dr. Edward Wright of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology along with other scientists observed the drinking water behaviour of Mountain Gorillas, scientifically known as Gorilla beringei beringei.
The observation concluded that the species drank more water as the temperature rose.
There are only around 1,000 individuals left.
“Understanding how animals obtain water is increasingly important in the face of climate change, as warmer temperatures and more extreme weather conditions are predicted to influence water availability, which could have implications for how they use their limited habitat,” - Dr. Edward Wright.
Mountain gorillas are rainforest dwelling species and get most of their water requirements from the plants they consume.
However, increasing temperatures will make them more reliant on free-standing water, such as a stream, river, puddle or swamp. Because mountain gorillas live at higher elevations, they are also more susceptible to faster temperature rises.
Mountain gorillas are listed as endangered in the International Union For The Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and face continuous threats such as small population size, limited habitat, poaching, and habitat destruction.
Given that increasing temperatures and more extreme weather events due to climate change are predicted to influence water availability, endangered species in small isolated populations are vulnerable to drought and the risk of extinction.
Understanding how endangered mountain gorillas obtain and consume water, they are vulnerable to the risk of extinction because of this very reason.