Category Archives: Poaching

Virunga Elephant To Be Protected

Virunga National Park as first National Park in Africa is facing several threats despite the efforts from rangers and conservationist to protect its resources.

One of its resources is African elephant (Loxodonta africana) inhabiting different ecosystems of the park from the forested areas to the savanna areas.

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Elephants in Virunga have been killed in Virunga for the trophy. Due to the occupancy of the park by armed groups, elephants have moved to areas closed to ranger posts with limited movement. Once they want to move, they are killed and forced to stay in limited area.

In order to protect them form this daily threats, rangers have been trying to plan for daily patrols and observations. Three groups of rangers have been monitoring about 300 elephants in Kabaraza ranger station with limited food ration and basic field equipment.

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Any help for these elephants is an input to Virunga conservation

Thanks to Antonio C., Nancy A. and Robert J.G. for their support to our work


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Partnership for Conservation

There is need of working together to save the threatened species

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The eastern DRC is facing armed crisis for about three decades now. Protected areas are among the vulnerable areas as they are used by armed groups as their shelter and source of food and income.

Virunga National park is suffering from that as a consequence of armed conflicts. The different armed groups in Eastern DRC have found their refuge into the Park and depend on its resources.

Main damage concerns:

  • Poaching and massive killing of fauna:

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­ this April; about 14 elephants have been killed by armed groups

­ in 2006, about 400 hippos have been killed by armed groups

­ number of Kobs are killed daily

­ charcoal making and illegal timber trade

  • restricting access to park surveillance:

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­ some of the armed groups have created some networks to facilitate illegal fishing in the Lake

­ they don’t allow rangers and conservation actors to access the area

­ they are allowing cultivation into the protected area

­ there are some gunshots exchange between rangers and armed groups

  • illegal wildlife trafficking

In order to get the issue solved or reduced, there have been several initiatives at political and military levels to try some solutions:

­ Involve the army to support rangers and organize joint patrols in different areas

­ Involve different stakeholders from various areas to help conservation dedicated organizations to protect the park

­ Create some local networks to gather information about the different areas occupied by armed groups

­ Support park rangers in their daily patrols and provide them field equipments

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All these activities are done and need to be done at daily basis. Due to the exceptional situation in DRC, there are daily cases that need support to avoid any political involvement in some of the park issues.

By Helping Virunga, you help to protect threatened species.

Thanks to Robert J. and Nacy A. for your support

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LOOKING INTO ANIMAL EYES

Wildlife is more interesting when people try to look into their eyes. When you try to look into wildlife eyes, you think about their needs in terms of habitat, food, shelter, movement. When people kill wildlife, they don’t look into their eyes; they look on their bodies, shape and trophies, etc.

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Virunga NP is facing poaching for both commercial and domestic needs in bushmeat. In order to discourage this process which can lead to species depletion, rangers carry out patrols in the Park with support from NGOs working in Conservation. This action is done also during any monitoring of wildlife in the park.

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This has been one of the toughest missions of rangers during these two decades in Virunga Park and ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) has lost over 100 rangers on duty. As a consequence, there are widows and orphans without assistance.
But also, rangers are working under pressure in need of field equipments and shelter. Some of the ranger posts have been rehabilitated with partners’ support; others are still in traditional status and makes rangers vulnerable to any armed attacks as they face it frequently.

Helping rangers, saves the most biodiverse and the oldest Park of Africa!

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We are proud of individual donors who have donated to this project and specially Robert J.G.