About Rwanda

  • Most densely populated country in Africa
  • One of the smallest countries in Africa geographically, roughly the size of Maryland
  • Ares of wildlife contained in four national parks
  • Varied terrain, including volcanic mountains as high as 14,000 feet (Mt. Karisimbi), as well as deep valleys, grassland, rivers and lakes

Our gorilla conservation work in Rwanda

  • From our Karisoke Research Center base, the Fossey Fund is responsible for daily protection of half of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, which are located in Volcanoes National Park.
  • Fossey Fund tracker teams are in the forest every day protecting specific groups of gorillas, collecting information, and monitoring the area.
  • Fossey Fund anti-poaching teams patrol different areas of the forest, often in conjunction with the Rwandan park authorities, to search for signs of poachers and other illegal activities.
  • Fossey Fund scientists and research assistants collect data on and study the gorillas every day, as well as other animals and plants in the forest.

Our community programs in Rwanda

  • The Fossey Fund is invested in improving quality of life for communities located near gorilla habitat and supports local infrastructure, including classrooms and improved health clinics.
  • We also provide conservation education programs to students in schools near the park as well as college students who can become the next generation of African conservationists and scientists.
  • Our new “Karisoke Exhibit” is now open to the public and helps everyone learn more about gorilla conservation and protection.

Goals

  • Protect the mountain gorillas from threats to their survival.
  • Train the next generation of local scientists and conservationists locally.
  • Help educate local communities about gorillas, conservation and their role in protecting natural resources.
  • Help communities thrive through education, health and livelihood efforts.
  • Conduct cutting-edge science aimed at developing effective conservation strategies.

Challenges

  • Gorillas live in a limited protected area, surrounded by human communities.
  • Gorilla population is critically small, with fewer than 880 individuals remaining, one of the most-endangered animals on earth.
  • Gorillas are limited to an area of forest surrounded by people. Impoverished local populations still depend on the forest for some resources, such as water, wood and food.

 

Click here to learn about our work in Congo.