Conserving Grauer’s gorilla in the Mwana Valley of Itombwe Natural Reserve, Democratic Republic of Congo

Timeframe: 2019 - 2020
Country/Region: DR Congo
Partner: Itombwe Génération pour l’Humanité

The Mwana Valley, an area located in Itombwe Natural Reserve, is one of the most important sites for Grauer gorilla conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, the number of gorillas in this valley has drastically declined, from an estimated 281 individuals in 1996 to just 73 individuals today. Widespread poaching of gorillas for bushmeat and continued destruction of their habitat has considerably depleted populations of this critically endangered primate across the Mwana Valley. Fondation Segré is supporting this project implemented by Itombwe Génération pour l’Humanité to ensure the survival of gorillas and gradually increase their populations in the Mwana Valley.

Intensive community patrol teams will be put in place to patrol, track and monitor gorillas daily, to reduce illegal poaching and deforestation activities in the Itombwe Natural Reserve. The funding from Fondation Segré will also contribute to develop the first conservation educational program in 8 local villages across the Mwana Valley to educate local communities about gorilla conservation and increase public knowledge, awareness and appreciation for gorilla and forest habitat here.