Collaborations in Gorilla Conservation
Collaboration is essential to gorilla conservation and protection and a hallmark of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International’s work. The Fossey Fund is able to operate gorilla conservation and protection programs thanks to good working relationships with the governments of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and their national park authorities. The Fossey Fund's Karisoke Research Center supplements the guards in Volcanoes National Park with our own anti-poaching patrols, first established by Dian Fossey, and we help train the park guards and guides. We also conduct cross-border patrols with teams from the Rwandan and Ugandan park authorities, covering all three sectors of the gorillas' habitat in the Virungas. Through our partner Gorilla Doctors, we organize medical assessment and care for the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. We also play a key role in the periodic mountain gorilla census work.
Gorilla conservation goes beyond direct gorilla protection
Each of the Fossey Fund’s programs carried out to reduce threats to gorilla survival -- primary, secondary and higher education, capacity building, awareness building, community outreach, health programs, rehabilitating rescued orphan gorillas, forest conservation, gorilla health interventions and scientific and conservation research -- can only be accomplished through collaborations because each organization contributes different specialized expertise, varied access to needed resources and unique relationships with stakeholders.
Rescued gorilla collaborations
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has helped care for young gorillas rescued from poachers in Rwanda and the Congo and was a founder of the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) center in Congo, where the gorillas live in a natural setting and may be able to be eventually released in the wild. GRACE was initiated by the Fossey Fund at the urging of the Congolese wildlife authority (ICCN) and the Tayna community, with financial support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and technical assistance from Disney’s Animal Programs and Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA). GRACE is now the collaborative effort of these and several other organizations.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund's health programs work with the government health authorities and various expert partners in Rwanda and Congo, to address such issues as intestinal parasites (which can harm people and gorillas), clean water access, health clinic rehabiliation, and hygiene education.
Science and research collaborations
The science and research programs that support the Fossey Fund’s gorilla conservation work are greatly enhanced through collaboration with scientists from research institutions and universities in Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund collaborates with many levels of local educational systems, providing conservation education programs in elementary and secondary schools. We also offer field courses and research opportunities for many students each year from the University of Rwanda.