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Last modified: January 9, 2012, 7:10 PM
The mission of Virunga Fund International is to support the conservation efforts of Africa's oldest, richest, yet most endangered park in Africa, Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Virunga National Park is also home to the world's last remaining viable population of wild mountain gorillas. Unfortunately, Virunga's park rangers are locked into a pitched battle to protect the park and its inhabitants. Almost a dozen rangers have died defending the park over the past year alone. More than 160 park rangers have been killed protecting the park since 1994. The security situation, compounded by chronic under-funding, has meant that Virunga National Park has suffered more service deaths amongst its rangers than any protected area on earth.
Please help us support the conservation of one of the world's most important yet most threatened protected areas!
Virunga is arguably one of the world's most important protected areas in terms its remarkable species and landscape diversity. It has more species of birds, reptiles and mammals than any other protected area on the African continent. Virunga has the highest levels of endemism and an exceptional assemblage of charismatic species, including three taxa of great apes, the okapi, and a rich diversity of large savannah mammals. These provide the foundation for a future tourism sector with the potential to play a significant role in the reconstruction of war-ravaged eastern DRC. Not a single mammal species has been lost to Virunga National Park since the wild dog was eradicated by the colonial administration in the 1950s. The growth of the mountain gorilla population, at over 25% in the past 20 years, is considered one of the greatest achievements in African conservation.