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Rwanda conservation effort to link isolated chimps to distant forest
Date:3/17/2008

y at least 200 hectares (500 acres)

  • Through National University of Rwanda, acquire satellite images and ground mapping information to plan a Gishwati to Nyungwe forest corridor to incorporate Gishwati as a functional component of Nyungwe National Park.

  • Create a corridor laboratory in Nyungwe National Park. This pilot forest corridor of 10km (6 miles) would connect the main block of Nyungwe NP to Cyamudongo, an isolated section of forest roughly the same size as Gishwati with a comparable population of chimpanzees. The test corridor will serve as a laboratory in which to study the use of the corridors by chimpanzees.

  • Provide community education and economic development programs for those living around the Gishwati Forest Reserve. This would include employment opportunities for trackers for the chimpanzee study, planting and monitoring forest trees and technical support for the development of agricultural cooperatives.

  • Restrict deforestation of the existing 102km core forest and riverbanks in the Gishwati Forest Reserve.

  • Develop socioeconomic study of the human population living in and around Gishwati. Begin negotiations to establish sustainable livelihoods for occupants of land within area of core forest expansion.

    Once the second-largest indigenous forest in Rwanda, Gishwati extended 1,0002 km (100,000 hectares or 250,000 acres) in the early 1900s. By the late 1980s, Gishwati was about one-fourth its original size. Resettlement by refugees following the 1994 genocide reduced the forest to about 62 km (600 hectares or 1,500 acres). Reforestation efforts during the past several years have increased Gishwatis forest to approximately 102 km (1,000 hectares or 2,500 acres).


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  • Contact: Al Setka
    asetka@greatapetrust.org
    515-243-3580
    Great Ape Trust of Iowa
    Source:Eurekalert

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