About Rwanda

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

Mountain gorilla status

  • The mountain gorilla population is critically small, with fewer than 880 individuals remaining, making them one of the most-endangered animals on earth.
  • In Rwanda, the gorillas are limited to a small island of forest surrounded by people. The human population density around the gorillas’ habitat is among the highest in Africa.
  • Impoverished local populations still depend on the forest for some resources, such as water, wood and food, which puts pressure on the small remaining habitat.

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

  • Continue work with the Rwandan government to 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 more about Karisoke Research Center. 
 
Click here to learn about our work in Congo.