Saving Endangered Gorillas through Anti-Poaching
Anti-poaching teams, part of the “active conservation” begun by Dian Fossey, continue to protect and save gorillas today.
Protection of the gorillas from poaching is a primary focus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and, in particular, the Karisoke Research Center. Protection activities at Karisoke consist of anti-poaching patrols in the forest and a daily, dawn-to-dusk human presence with all of the approximately 120 gorillas we monitor.
Karisoke’s anti-poaching teams are "active conservationists" in the field, monitoring sectors of the Volcanoes National Park to record the presence and location of illegal activities, such as wood cutting, water collecting or cattle grazing. They also remove snares from the forest, most of which are set for antelopes and other small game but can cause serious injury or death to the gorillas. All data on snares and other illegal activities are shared with the Rwanda park authorities to help guide park management decisions. Karisoke staff also conduct cross-border patrols with local teams from the Ugandan and Congolese sectors of the gorillas’ habitat.
In addition to the anti-poaching patrols, each group of gorillas the Fossey Fund monitors has a dedicated team that remains with the group from dawn to dusk, seven days per week, 365 days per year. These teams have two functions: to collect a variety of data on the gorillas and to protect them from poachers.