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Ten Years of Gorilla Tourism in Mgahinga | Mgahinga National Park
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Ten Years of Gorilla Tourism in Mgahinga

Ten Years of Gorilla Tourism in Mgahinga

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In December, 1989, a gorilla and nature conservation project was established on the Ugandan side of the Virunga Volcanoes. Biologist and historian Klaus-Jürgen Sucker started to develop the project with support from the Deutscher Tierschutzbund (German Society for the Protection of Animals), from the Berggorilla & Regenwald Direkthilfe and, later, from CIM (Center for International Migration).

At that point, the area on the northern slopes of the three volcanoes Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo was characterised by increasing deforestation and transformation of the rain forest into agricultural fields. The primary forest was criss-crossed by a network of numerous smugglers’ trails. Hundreds of wire snares were set on the game paths in order to catch antelopes. Logging and grazing of livestock in the forest were also regular occurrences.

In co-operation with the Ugandan authorities, more rangers were employed and their equipment was improved. Very soon the first results of this work were noticeable. Because there were more rangers and they spent more time in the forest, livestock grazing in the forest, poaching with snares and logging all decreased. As a result, the populations of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, duikers, bushbuck and buffaloes, and many other animal and plant species recovered.

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