One of Africa's Most Biodiverse Regions Now Protected

June 24, 2016

Photo Credit: ©A.J.Plumptre/WCS

The Provincial Governor formally approved the boundaries of the Itombwe Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), one of Africa's most biodiverse sites. This is a critical step in establishing and ensuring the effective protection of this important site.

The move follows requests by WCS and its partners to officially establish the reserve in order to conserve the Grauer's gorilla. By DRC law, formal boundaries are needed to effectively work on the ground to protect the 2,213 square mile (5,732 square kilometer) reserve.

At least 53 globally threatened species (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List) are found in Itombwe, and several more are classified as data deficient because they are so rarely seen and described.

"Itombwe is one of the most important sites for conservation in Africa and it is great news that the Government of DRC and the communities that live in the massif have finally fully established this unique protected area," said Dr. Andrew Plumptre of WCS's Albertine Rift Program.

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