Karisoke Research Center

Karisoke Research Center
Dian Fossey Grave-stone at Karisoke Research Centre

Karisoke Research Center is the world’s basis for the study and protection of the critically in danger of extinction mountain gorillas. The center was initiated about 40 years ago by Dr. Dian Fossey and operated since her death in December 1985. It was set up by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. This fund formerly The Digit Fund is a charity trust for the conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas. The Fund was created by Dr. Dian Fossey for the sole aim of funding her anti-poaching circuits and patrols plus preventing more poaching of the mountain gorillas. At present, Karisoke is the paramount hope for the future and survival of mountain gorillas, and has turned out to be a substantial resource for people that dwell nearby the gorilla habitats.

Karisoke was founded by Dian Fossey on September 24, 1967 in the middle of two of Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains that motivated the name she selected, Mt. Karisimbi and Mt. Visoke to formulate Karisoke. Overtime, the research center grew from two minor tents to a sequence of cottages that were demolished, reconstructed and lastly damaged yet again during times of civil turbulence since Fossey’s death. Despite all the odds, the gorilla surveillance and safeguard which Fossey began have been persistent for more than 4 decades.  Staff members at Karisoke now defend closely one third of the mountain gorilla population in the Virungas.

This research centre is visited by people who do a trekking to the Dian Fossey Grave site found at Karisoke. She is laid near her many fallen beloved  mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda

For the period it has been active, the Karisoke Research Center has fetched global attention and funding to the predicament of the mountain gorillas. The center has connected local populations with gorilla protection efforts via partnerships, health and education plus development schemes. Researchers and scientists now have access to a Forty-year data bank of figures and facts about the entire gorilla life cycle, conduct, habitation and preservation among others which are among the longest-running primate studies. As a consequence of the unceasing safeguard and monitoring by the Karisoke staff, the mountain gorillas of the Virungas are the only large ape populace to have augmented in number in recent periods that is from 260 when Fossey came to 380 at the latest count. This has been due to partnering with national park managements in Rwanda and DR Congo.

Karisoke today carries out wide-ranging everyday monitoring and protection of the mountain gorillas.  Lots of science and research developments; countless education initiatives plus community health and developments are going on. Since its inception, Karisoke has produced an unequalled amount of information about gorillas and their habitation. This has attracted experts and science research students from around ecosphere.

Karisoke is also a survival resource for the gorilla neighbours as it employs over 100 staff members, many of whom are Rwandese. Many of these staffs are involved in education research, conservation and monitoring of the gorillas. Others are doing socioeconomic and biodiversity research, health, education and administration. Furthermore, Karisoke offers human communities in the area with education, economic development and health programs.

Karisoke center staffs give conservation education to schools around. They do this from primary pupils to secondary school learners up to adult community fellows using a diversity of mass media. The Dian Fossey International Fund that supports the center has also helped renovate health clinic and schools proximate to the park. They have supported clean water and pest treatment and deterrence programs that lessen spread of illnesses from humans to gorillas at the same time improving the people’s lives in the close by communities.


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