Kahuzi-Biéga National Park is located 50 km West of Bukavu in
Democratic Republic of Congo. Kahuzi-Biéga National Park covers an
area of 4,920 km². It is designed as reserve for Eastern Lowland
Gorilla. Civil wars that ranged in 1990s greatly reduced number of
these rare apes. Today only about 600 of these animals roam the
territory of the park.
The national park is one of the last refuge for a rare species of
primates - the eastern lowland gorilla. At altitudes of 2100-2400
meters, a population of only about 250 gorillas lives here. But this
figure is already declining due to the hostile influence of human
presence. Military conflicts in the country led to the destruction
of the national park’s security system, which gave freedom to
poachers. In recent years, gorillas for sale have been increasingly
appearing in local markets. These and other circumstances led to the
fact that in 1997 this conservation area was included in the list of
World Heritage Sites under threat of destruction.
In total, over 194 mammal species live in the
area. These include the Eastern Chimpanzee ( P. Schweinfurthii ),
numerous other species of monkeys, some scattered groups of forest
elephants , hippos, leopards, giant forest pigs , bongos and seven
different duiker species. The number of elephants in 1982 was still
3300 individuals, favored by the poaching aggravating
inaccessibility. The park also houses at least 224 species of birds.
In 1997, the World Heritage Committee put the park on the Red
List of Endangered World Heritage. The lower regions of the park are
located by a Rwanda used Rebel group as a base of operations. She is
blamed for poaching, logging and illegal mining ( Coltan ). The
classification of the Kahuzi-Biéga National Park as a UNESCO World
Heritage in Africa is therefore not secure (2013).
by human rights activists and also by Greenpeace became a missed
exclusive nature conservation policy at the time of the park
foundation, which contributed to the reduced protection of the
natural wealth in the area by the expulsion of 6000 pygmies , the
traditional hunters and collectors in the mountains. There are only
about 3,000 pygmies alive in 2009, many of whom died of malnutrition
without compensation; the conflicts with the Bantu farmers had
prevented a livelihood as farmers, only 12 trackers had been set for
tourism in the park. The gorillas were defended by only a few park
guards before the rebels and civil war refugees. Meanwhile, with
support from GTZHowever, about 450 of the pygmies reached with
projects for handicrafts and school fees.