Species, Habitat and Ecosystems

Healthy Ecosystems: A foundation to sustainable, resilient development

Rwanda’s unique geography, with associated variation in the physiographic and climatic conditions has resulted in rich biodiversity. At the species level, the rapid change along the environmental gradient gives rise to high beta diversity. The country is only 26,338 km², but harbors many world’s known flora and fauna.  Rwanda’s biodiversity profile records 2,150 known plant species, 151 mammal species (representing 40 per cent of Africa’s mammalian species), 87 species of amphibians, and reptiles and 670 bird species. It is home to about 30 per cent of the global population of mountain gorillas. It also provides habitat for a large troupe of 500 chimpanzees as well as many other monkey species. This high species diversity is also accompanied by high endemism in the Albertin rift.

Nature Rwanda actively engages in understanding patterns, processes and the complex interactions in search of viable management options for maintaining the health and functionality of ecosystems. Restoration and rehabilitation of natural landscapes considering ecological, social and cultural needs of current and future generations underpins effective ecosystem management strategies of Nature Rwanda.

Nature Rwanda interventions in habitat restoration, and rehabilitation have not only reduced the pressure of resources, but also extended wildlife habitat, subsequently opening new avenues for tourism development, and also served as key points in the biodiversity success of the country.

Species conservation is challenged by multiple factors that arise from the growing human expansion and modern development. Many plant and animal species are threatened due to habitat loss, poaching and pollution, and climate change.

Nature Rwanda since its establishment has worked hand in hand with the government and conservation partners to achieve some notable success in species conservation. National vulture conservation program to conserve the vulture populations is a remarkable example of how successful species-focused conservation can save species that are in crisis. In just a few years, Nature Rwanda has supported the government in numerous initiatives that has resulted in wildlife rescue & problem animal management in buffer zone and urban areas, and capacitating and mobilizing community-based institutions.

Biodiversity conservation and human wellbeing is at the center of species conservation. Engaging communities, ensuring animal welfare, promoting human-nature co-existence and combating wildlife crime are Nature Rwanda’s working areas that carry the mantle of species conservation.