Virunga as a first National Park in Africa is facing several threats which need to be monitored so that people can measure the level and extents of different threats and apply a suitable strategy.
Rangers on patrols in Vitshumbi areas
In order to ensure its protection, Virunga Park rangers are in patrols everyday in different accessible areas of the Park. During their exercise, they collect data about animals, habitats and other specific information which may inform people about the ecosystem health.
To enable this, we have been working with ICCN (Park Authority) to establish a system whereby rangers collect data on the ground and entered into computer at station and headquarters levels so that the data can be processed and analysed to give out information.
To reach this level, there are different activities implemented and others which need to be covered. We’ve been able to train, equip and supervise the different stations in the system. Still, there is need of getting senior rangers to the different ranger posts to assess the way data is collected and ensure that outside data is collected (information about fishing, population in fishing villages, etc.). As the equipment going to the field is facing handling problems (rain, lost during gunshot exchange), there is need of having other supplies such as GPS, computers, etc.
At least, the system has shown the different changes all over the 4 years of the database. There is a decrease in some illegal activities and increase in encountering animals on the field.
Kobs in Virunga Park
Let’s hope for Virunga.