• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Rwanda aims to expand its volcanoes park in 2022


Dec 24, 2021

KIGALI December 23rd (AFP) – With around twenty families known and monitored by the Rwandan authorities, the density of mountain gorillas has increased, they would be 1,063 according to the last census in 2015 in the Volcanoes National Park.

And those primates, accustomed to humans, therefore venture to their neighbors, the humans. The density problem is today much more significant in Rwanda, due to demographic pressure, the park area has been reduced by half.

We have seen challenges, habitat challenges because in the last 60s, 50s, the park lost 54% of its size. And when the effort was put in place for the mountain gorilla population to recover to current numbers, the habitat did not change, said Prosper Uwingeli, director of the Volcanoes National Park.

Density poses other threats within the sanctuary itself. Interactions between those families have greatly increased and can trigger fights, in which babies are at high risk. Rwanda has decided to expand the surface area of ​​its park by 23% within five to ten years. This in ambitious project, which is due to start in 2022 and will require restoring the forest, but also relocating 4,000 farming families.

The interactions themselves changed in the sense that they became very violent, and during this period (of interaction) we recorded the deaths of seven silverbacks (male gorillas). So, this is again a consequence of the fact that more groups are in the same area without expanding and going into the rest of the park, which leads to more interactions between groups and then to more infanticides, says Felix Ndagijimana, director of the Diane Fossey Fund in Rwanda.

The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is a sanctuary where mountain gorillas are now cramped.

Rwanda shares with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo the famous Virunga massif. Located in the heart of the densely populated Great Lakes region, this chain of eight majestic volcanoes is also, along with the Ugandan Bwindi Forest, the only habitat in the world for mountain gorillas, whose population is increasing.