This three year project will support efforts to protect the lowland Gorillas of Virunga National Park in central Africa from extinction. Rampant poaching, destruction of habitat, and lack of support for gorilla conservation have driven this species to the brink of extinction. As a result, the population in Virunga National Park in the Mt. Tshiaberimu region has plummeted by over fifty percent in just ten years—from fifteen to seven individuals. These animals face local extinction unless action is taken immediately.
LDF will support efforts to protect this species by;
- Expanding existing Gorilla habitat by 22%, or 1,500 acres, through land purchases from the local community.
- Restoring and protecting the new habitat with trained rangers.
- Reintroducing 17 Gorillas (recently rescued from gorilla traffickers) back into the wild in the newly secured and restored habitat of Mt. Tshiaberimu.
The Virunga Fund works closely with other organizational partners on the ground, such as the Virunga Alliance, to garner local community support for Gorilla conservation by developing mechanisms for the communities to benefit directly from conservation.