A Volcanic Ten Days Tracking Gorillas

This is Augustin Basabose, IGCP Conservation Coordinator. The ten days I recently spent counting the legendary mountain gorillas of the Virunga Massif was an experiment in patience, perseverance and discovery. The last census at this site took place in 2003, and therefore it was high time to redo the count to get an idea about…

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Living the 2010 Gorilla Census Experience In Team 2

From March 1st to April 27th, 2010; there has been a mountain gorilla census in the Virunga Massif. Mountain gorillas are a critically endangered Great Ape species that remained unknown to the Western world until October 17th, 1902 when Captain Robert von Beringe discovered and brought them to the Western attention. Since their discovery, mountain…

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In the Gorillas’ Shadow on Karisimbi’s Eden

The bamboo is tall and sturdy here, elegantly bending over the muddy path to produce arches that rival the world’s grandest cathedrals.  This cathedral is imperfect but just as stunning, her green roof piercing the opacity of the foggy sky in a gesture of resiliency and rain fed beauty: nature’s temple of organic grandeur. We…

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Documenting the Families of Volcanoes National Park

The puffy white clouds were morphing to gray as we stood in front Sabyinyo Volcano’s knotty peaks.  As they are want to do, they started creeping towards the mountain’s spine.  I knew that in an hour or two they would swallow the peaks whole, then spread again, likely depositing big fat raindrops on forest and…

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Trekking at the Intersection of Climate Change and Gorilla Conservation

The sense of stillness, clarity and peace are overwhelming as we approach the Gikeri patrol post.  Fat fields of beans, cabbage and sweet potatoes stretch out in all directions, invoking a green carpet of bounty that seems to unroll all the way to the horizon.  Earthen huts stand stoic with waving kids under waxy Eucalyptus…

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Building a Future in Bukima

Goma bustles.  Goma hustles.  Goma tussles with poverty and the effects of a devastating decade plus war in this resource rich sector of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, whose dying flame stubbornly refuses to be snuffed out completely.   I am back here to check on the progress of IGCP’s conservation efforts in and around Virunga…

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Walking Under the Volcanoes’ Shadow with the Batwa

The moss drips from the trees surrounding the camp in a filigree of light and delicate wisps of the bright green and earthy chocolates of the rainforest.  We sit on a bamboo bench with the smoking shacks in front of us looking like they are being swallowed by the forest’s creeping wildness.  The twisted tree…

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Twins! A Baby! A Community on the Move!

Wobbling down what seems like an endless descent from the lofty perches of Nkuringo Ridge, the village of Kahurire in the patchwork of green hollows below looks tiny no matter how close we get to it, like a scattering of child’s playhouses neatly arranged in neighbor friendly concentric circles.  The ragged leaves of the banana…

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The work of IGCP is to facilitate collaborative actions for conservation of mountain gorillas and their habitat.

Anna Behm Masozera – IGCP Director