Individual donors like you make up the largest source of donations for the Fossey Fund.
These donations support important programs like the daily protection of gorilla families, anti-poaching patrols, scientific research needed to develop effective conservation strategies, education and science outreach to local students, helping communities address basic needs like food security, and many more. Your support is critical to our ongoing conservation efforts; we can’t do what we do without you!
Donors have been critical to our work to help save the world’s last mountain gorillas through providing direct, daily protection to gorillas since the time of Dian Fossey.
Fossey Fund trackers and researchers protect and study gorilla populations in both Rwanda and Congo. The success of this type of extreme conservation is reflected in our 50 years of data and is critical to the slow but steady increases in the mountain gorilla population. In addition to our tracker teams that monitor the gorillas, we have dedicated anti-poaching teams who seek out and guard against illegal activities in the forest. This ranges from recording illegal wood-cutting to removing snares meant for antelope and other small game animals. The information gathered on their patrols is then provided to park management and helps to protect the forest.
Through donor support, we are conducting the critical science needed to develop effective conservation strategies.
Good conservation is underscored by good science. For more than 50 years, the Fossey Fund has been studying all aspects of gorilla biology, contributing enormously to what is scientifically known about gorillas. Because healthy gorilla populations depend on healthy ecosystems, we also study the larger biodiversity of the region, with particular focus on important indicator species like amphibians and birds. Our Karisoke Research Center acts as a hub for researchers and students who come from around the world to study the gorillas and their unique habitat.
Your support helps to teach the next generation of African scientists and conservationists.
Each year, our training programs engage than 400 university students in Rwanda and Congo both in the classroom and also out in the field. We also supervise senior thesis research projects and offer post-graduate internship opportunities to provide further training. Our data show that 85 percent of students who do their senior thesis with the Fossey Fund go on to work in conservation or science related fields. This includes working for the government, local conservation organizations, or continuing to their graduate degrees. Our own staff is also supported through education opportunities, scholarships, conservation conferences, and support for independent research projects.
Our motto is “Helping People. Saving Gorillas.” Fossey Fund donors provide crucial support for our work to improve the lives of local communities who live near the gorillas.
Through school courses, environmental clubs, and teacher training, your donations enabled us to reach more than 7,230 primary and secondary students in local schools last year. Students also participate in Citizen Science programs, creating gardens and participating in field research. We hope that this kind of education will continue to inspire the local communities to lead conservation efforts.
Good conservation cannot happen without the support of local communities. One of the most important functions of our outreach programs is addressing basic needs like food security and livelihood alternatives. One of the ways we assist with this is through a program focused on alternative food sources, including growing crops with higher nutritional value. This program helps not just people, but the ecosystem at large. More resources available in the community means less need for resources that come out of the forest, and better conservation over all.