Gishwati Forest Reserve

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East Africa > Rwanda > Gishwati Forest Reserve

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The Great Ape Trust/Earthpark-sponsored Gishwati Area Conservation Program is working with the government of Rwanda to protect and secure a (now) 13-square km forest with 15 chimpanzees. Icons..


Ape status

With the birth of two infants, the chimpanzee population has grown from 13 to 15 since the present program began in 2008, probably the first increase in this population in more than 40 years. A forest corridor is being planned to connect Gishwati to the Nyungwe National Park with its 400 chimpanzees


Major Threats Gishwati Forest Reserve
Poaching No
Disease No
Habitat destruction Yes
Logging Not commercial
Mining Yes

Table 2: Threats to chimpanzees in Giswati Forest Reserve

Conservation activities

Conservation actions Giswati Forest Reserve
Law Enforcement Yes
Long-term Research Yes
Permanent Monitoring Program Yes
Education Yes
Public Awareness Campaign Yes
Ecotourism Pilot program in planning

Table 3: Conservation activities in Gishwati Forest


Principal Investigator Dr. Rebecca Chancellor has confirmed by direct identification a current population of 15 chimpanzees, and has been conducting a behavioral ecology study since 2008. Other plant and animal species are being studied by students and collaborators


  • Barakabuye, N., Mulindahabi, F., Plumptre, A.J., Kaplin, B., Munanura, I., Ndagijimana and Ndayiziga, O. (2007) Conservation of Chimpanzees in the Congo nile divide forests of Rwanda and Burundi. WCS, ORTPN, INECN unpubl. Report.
  • Plumptre, A.J., Masozera, M. and Vedder, A. (2001) The impact of civil war on the conservation of protected areas in Rwanda. Washington, D.C. Biodiversity Support Program.
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