Community Outreach for the Conservation of Endangered Golden Monkeys in Volcanoes National Park.
by Dr. Muvunyi Richard
Human-Wildlife Conflict manifested in terms of crop raiding is a major concern in farmlands bordering the Volcanoes National Park. The endangered golden monkey (Cercopithecus kandti) whose population is believed to be declining is one of the major perpetrators of crop-raiding. Their crop-raiding behavior leads to ongoing conflict with the local community resulting into retaliatory killings and/ or traumatic injuries.
The Government of Rwanda together with the park management and other conservation partners put in place various measures for addressing the problem (e.g. construction of the stone wall, digging of trenches, compensating losses, and several other strategies). However, these efforts have not yielded much in eradicating completely the problem of crop-raiding. Crop raiding animals continues to be a threat to farming activities undermining community livelihoods.
The aim of the project is to reduce drastically farmer-golden monkey conflict manifested in terms of crop-raiding and retaliatory killings or injuries in farmlands adjacent to Volcanoes National Park through working with communities to devise workable strategies for mitigating crop-raiding and educating the local communities about golden monkey conservation in order to promote harmonious coexistence between farmers and the monkeys.