Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park is being expanded by nearly 40 square miles in order to accommodate the growing population of mountain gorillas, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwandan government disclosed.

Population research figures from 2016 show that the total gorilla population has topped 600 individuals, up from 480 in 2010. This expansion of the park will allow for nearly 15 square miles to be dedicated to the national park, and more than 25 square miles for a "buffer zone," which allows for agroforestry and agricultural use between the park and local communities.

Hopes are that this kind of expansion will help the gorilla populations avoid group conflicts over territory and will also lessen the number of gorillas who leave the park in search of resources.

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