• Lutte anti-braconnage

Conservation of Grauer’s gorillas in the Mwana Valley within the Itombwe Nature Reserve

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Conservation of Grauer’s gorillas in the Mwana Valley within the Itombwe Nature Reserve

This project will be carried out in the Mwana Valley (11,000 ha), an area located in the province of South Kivu in the DRC. The Mwana Valley presents a mountainous relief and a humid tropical forest characterized by a great heterogeneity of environments and a high biodiversity. The Itombwe Massif is one of the important areas for the conservation of Grauer’s gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) which is a great ape endemic to eastern DRC.

 

This valley is of strategic importance because it forms an ecological corridor between two parts of the RNI, namely the Bitongo forest in the south-west, and the North Ulindi forest in the north-east. The results of the last census carried out showed that due to poaching, the number of gorillas living in this valley had dramatically decreased from 211 individuals in 1996 to 73 individuals today.

 

Although it is entirely located within a Protected Area, the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) has unfortunately classified the Mwana Valley among the areas of great sensitivity, due to illegal poaching carried out there. ‘inside it. Other vectors of ecosystem degradation and natural forest loss are shifting cultivation (slash-and-burn), artisanal mining, and the collection of fuelwood and charcoal. The RNI (5,700 km2) currently has only 18 eco-guards which is well below the requirements to ensure the protection of a PA of this area. The general objective of the project is to contribute to the sustainable protection of the Grauer gorillas living in the Mwana Valley within the RNI.