GORILLA CONSERVATION

With declining and severely fragmented populations, gorillas are teetering towards the brink of extinction. These powerful and charismatic creatures have not only fallen victim to habitat loss as a consequence of human encroachment but have also been deliberately killed, with shocking brutality, by poachers.

For many years, Born Free has funded and supported gorilla conservation projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In partnership with the Humane Society International (Australia), we currently provide vital funding and support to the Grauer’s Gorilla Conservation initiative. This initiative researches, monitors, and protects the endangered eastern lowland gorilla – also known as Grauer’s gorilla – in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

GORILLA CONSERVATION

HOW CAN WE SAVE GORILLAS IN THE WILD?

Born Free funds the vital work of the Grauer’s Gorilla Conservation scheme which operates in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo to tackle the poaching crisis and safeguard gorilla habitats from further human encroachment.

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GRAUER'S GORILLA CONSERVATION

LOCATION: Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

GOAL: To conserve and monitor eastern lowland gorillas – also known as Grauer’s gorillas – at Kahuzi-Biega National Park

ACTIONS: With funding from Born Free, the gorilla conservation programme carries out daily monitoring and health surveying of 13 gorilla family groups in the Tshivanga Highlands sector of the park, including identification and behavioural tracking

Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a World Heritage site in the South Kivu Province of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is a stronghold for the eastern lowland gorilla. In the 1970s and 1980s, gorilla-viewing tourism began to generate important revenue for Kahuzi-Biega but by the 1990s, instability in the region had made travel to the park extremely dangerous.

The Rwandan genocide in 1994 sparked a mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hutu refugees from Rwanda, across the border, into the DRC. The resulting ethnic tension led to two Congo wars in 1996 and 1998 which cost the lives of millions of people. To this day, the region is characterised by a chronic state of insecurity and civil strife.

Furthermore, towards the end of the 1990s, the global price of coltan (ore used in electronic components) had risen sharply with the demand for products such as mobile phones, laptops and games consoles. This led to a boom in coltan mining, including in legally protected areas like Kahuzi-Biega National Park.

The subsequent in-migration of labourers searching for work in the coltan mines led to a sharp decline in the national park’s fauna. Hundreds of elephants were slaughtered for their ivory over the course of just three years, and the eastern lowland gorillas – once numbering in the tens of thousands – declined by 80-90%.

 

WANT TO HELP SAVE GORILLAS?

With your generous support we can continue our efforts to counter the threats to eastern lowland gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 


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With your generous support we can continue our efforts to counter the threats to eastern lowland gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Gorilla Conservation


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Mugaruka and Chimanuka are rare, wild silverback gorillas who live in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both, these gorillas are threatened by illegal poaching and the bushmeat trade. Sadly Mugaruka lost a hand in a wire snare. Help us safeguard their future and protect them from poachers.

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OTHER CONSERVATION PROJECTS...

Lion conservation
Wolf conservation
Tiger conservation
Orca conservation
Orangutan conservation
Giraffe conservation
Elephant conservation
Jaguar conservation
chimpanzee conservation
Gorilla conservation

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