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napping mountain gorillas

Daily naps are a part of the mountain gorilla's routine - so is leaving a pile of poo in the nest when you leave, it's that poo, large and small, and the nest (from a nap or the night) that census teams are tracking down this month in the rain throughout the Virungas and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

The 2011 census of the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda has begun, despite the rains. After a three-day training session, the teams are out counting gorillas, but not like you would imagine. They are counting them indirectly through the meticulous documentation of the night nests and poo that are found.

It will be after all this data is collected, analyzed, and cross-checked with genetic samples that we will know the total number of mountain gorillas in Bwindi during the time the census was conducted. You can look at it like a snapshot of the population at one point it time. This snapshot will be compared with results from the last complete census, conducted in 2006.

More about the current census at International Gorilla Conservation Fund