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Conservation project 1 of 6
Title
Supporting Rwandan Rangers
Location
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Gorillas
Mountain gorillas
Local Partner:   Rwandan Office for Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN)
Description

 

Rangers carry out one of the most important roles in conservation. They are the first line of defence, protecting the gorillas and their habitat from the demands of the wider world, and they are the eyes, ears and voice of the forests.
 
They work in an environment that is hostile, unforgiving and often dangerous, yet they manage to build relationships with the gorillas that are intimate, lasting and which have undoubtedly saved gorillas’ lives.
 
The Gorilla Organization works with ORTPN to support the rangers of the Volcanoes National Park, who record invaluable census information and enable conservationists to monitor and evaluate the success of conservation efforts. The rangers also monitor the health and wellbeing of the gorillas, remove any dangerous traps left by hunters which could harm the gorillas and help protect the gorillas from human pressures such as fuel collection and farming.

 

Progress

 

In 2004 the Gorilla Organization purchased some basic equipment for ORTPN veterinary centre. The veterinary centre enables stool samples, collected by the rangers during their patrols, to be tested and checked for any signs of unusual parasites or illnesses being harboured by the gorillas. It also allows scientists and conservationists to monitor the gorillas’ DNA and learn more about their family groups.
 
In 2005 the Gorilla Organization provided ORTPN with computers, which help the rangers record and analyse vital information about the gorilla groups. This work was improved further during 2006, when the Gorilla Organization provided a digital camera, enabling rangers to take photos of the gorillas, which are then used to identify each individual by their unique noseprint.
 
In May 2008, a four-wheel drive vehicle was presented to the ORTPN by the Gorilla Organization’s Rwandan staff. The vehicle has made a huge difference to the working lives of the rangers who are now able to drive around the perimeter of the national park and access the ranger patrol posts more easily. By spending less time travelling, the rangers are able to spend more time monitoring and protecting the gorillas.

 

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