Garamba National Park in the north-eastern corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is one of Africa’s oldest and most biologically significant national parks. In the 1970s, over 22,000 elephants lived in Garamba but this number has tragically been reduced to just 1300 in recent years as a result of poaching and conflict. Rhino has been wiped out and only a very small population of critically endangered Kordofan giraffe remain.
Garamba is on the frontline, with militant poachers and regional insecurities placing immense pressure on the park and its resources. This critical situation has been exacebated by the ongoing civil war with deserters from the South Sudanese army, and regional and local terrorist groups including the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who benefit from killing elephants for the sale of ivory. Park Rangers are often the only stabilising force in the region and the only lifeline for both the wildlife and inhabitants. Sadly more than a dozen rangers and soldiers deployed to Garamba have been killed in recent years.
Garamba is managed by conservation non profit African Parks. The President is HRH Prince Harry. African Park's vision is to restore security to Garamba through intensive and extensive law enforcement, and from community engagement in areas beyond the park's borders. Their key focus is on training and equipping park rangers to counter militarised poachers, and to work with local communities to deliver needed benefits and reduce human impact on natural resources.
Explorers against Extinction to support working dogs programme in Garamba
We've followed progress in Garamba for some time now, understanding what an important wildife habitat it is. Talking to African Parks, it was agreed that the best way we could contribute to the ongoing conservation efforts in the park was to support the new working dogs programme.
Anti-poaching canine units have made a huge impact in many reserves across Africa and as a conservation charity we have witnessed this firsthand.
Explorers against Extinction donated a dog unit, the first of its kind in the Okavango Delta, to Rhino Conservation Bostwana just last year and we have also donated dogs to other key rhino breeding areas including the Save Valley in Zimbabwe and Ol Pejeta in Kenya. By collaborating with African Parks in 2018 we now have the opportunity to help Garamba's elephants.
We'd love your support - this is a big project and we are determined to achieve our conservation goals. Find out how we plan to assist African Parks with their working dogs programme via our Explorers against Extinction conservation campaign pages here.
Garamba is unique in that it is a savannah eco-system on the edge of the Congolian basin forests. Besides being home to the typical mix of forest and savannah species, it is also one of the best places to see a number of unique species such as the very rare Pousargues mongoose. There are over 400 species of birds including large colonies of colourful carmine bee-eaters which nest along the riverbanks. Predators include spotted hyaena, leopard, lion and serval amongst several others and primates range from Guereza colobus and Patas monkey to vervet and De Brazza’s monkey and the chimpanzee. In addition you have Nile Buffalo, hippo and a wide range of antelope species. Garamba’s elephant are being poached at an alarming rate and the park is experiencing a negative population growth. In addition, the Kordofan giraffe is critically endangered, with only 47 remaining in the DRC.
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