Helping National Parks in Africa

The Fossey Fund helps national parks that are home to gorillas and other important species in Rwanda and Congo through direct protection and offering training and educational opportunities to African conservationists. We work with park guards, wildlife managers and other African conservationists so that they can make the best decisions about the long-term management of their wildlife and the forests where they live. 

Karisoke™ staff work with Rwanda park staff

Direct gorilla protection in Volcanoes National Park

In Rwanda, our trackers and anti-poaching teams work closely with Rwandan national park authorities to protect the Rwandan portion of the mountain gorilla habitat, in Volcanoes National Park. This involves daily monitoring of gorilla groups that are designated for study purposes, as well as more widespread anti-poaching activities, such as removing snares set for wildlife and collecting information on the location of illegal activities in the park.

Capacity building for staff at national parks 

In both countries where we work, we have conducted training programs and workshops for the national parks staff to enhance their ability to protect threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.The Karisoke Research Center also supervises students from the University of Rwanda who are conducting research in Volcanoes National Park on gorillas and other aspects of the forest habitat.

The Fossey Fund is also working with Kahuzi-Biega National Park staff in Congo to develop a joint research project to study various aspects of Grauer's gorilla groups, to help park management with gorilla and habitat conservation strategies.

Providing information on gorillas and other species in the park

The Fossey Fund has created a long-term database which includes nearly 50 years of observation of mountain gorilla behavior and ecology, and information on approximately 1,000 species of plants and animals found in Volcanoes National Park. The data sets include information on gorilla behavior, demography, ranging patterns, interactions between groups, injuries and illegal activities in the park, as well as photographs, meteorological data, and other information. Data collected also includes biodiversity within the park, including information about other mammals, birds, and vegetation; evaluations of local conservation education; and ecosystem health, including that of the human communities surrounding the park. 


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