Kahuzi-Biéga National Park

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Kahuzi-Biéga National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
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Sign at the entrance to the park
Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coordinates: 2°30′″S, 28°45′″E
Area: 6,000 km²
Established: 1970
Governing body: l'Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN)

Kahuzi-Biéga National Park is in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 50 km west of the town of Bukavu in the Kivu Region, near to the western side of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border.

The park is one of the last refuges of the rare Mountain Gorilla and was the original site where Dian Fossey (protege of Dr. Louis Leakey) studied gorillas before relocating to Rwanda. Prior to conflicts which have plagued this part of Africa since the 1990's, only an estimated 600 gorillas remained throughout the range. As a result of the remaining gorilla population, the park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. It is likely that recent war in the region has taken a terrible toll on their numbers. One recent (2005) estimate has suggested that as many as 60% of the population of nearly 300 recorded in Kahuzi-Biéga in 1990 may have perished. The ongoing fighting in the Congo has moved within the boundaries of the park causing looting, burning of the forest, and poaching of the animals. Consequently the park was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 1997.

The Park is named after two extinct volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi (3,308 m) and Mount Biéga (2,790 m). Mount Kahuzi is the highest in this part of Kivu.

[edit] External links

fr:Parc national de Kahuzi-Biega fi:Kahuzi-Biegan kansallispuisto sv:Kahuzi-Biega nationalpark

Kahuzi-Biéga National Park

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