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Rwanda’s famous national park to be expanded by 10,000 hectares

Rwandan officials plan to expand the Volcanoes National Park (North) on the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of…

Rwandan officials plan to expand the Volcanoes National Park (North) on the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) owing to its growing population, local media reported Thursday quoting a senior official from Rwanda Development Board (RDB).According to Eugene Mutangana, head of conservation management at RDB,  the social behaviours of the animals also demonstrated that there was need for expansion.

“There is a significant need to increase the current habitat due to the limited ability of the park to accommodate the growing population,” Mutangana said.

According to him,  a hundred and sixty kilometres is really a small space for this population.

“Sometimes you find them (gorillas) colliding, fighting and infanticide in search of resources and food,” he said.

The park management indicates that Some of these species escape the park in search of resources, others are living in overpopulated habitats, they fight and kill each other which leads to group instability and affects their behaviours.

During the expansion of the park, conservation experts say  some 3,740 hectares will be used for park activities while more than 6,000 hectares will be reserved as a buffer zone.

Mountain gorillas live in the dense forest of Virunga mountain range of Rwanda and Congo.

A census of one of the two populations of mountain gorillas living in eastern Africa revealed an increase from 400 to at least 459 individuals, bringing the total count for the subspecies to 1,069 gorillas.

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