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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Volcans Biosphere Reserve is located about 15 km north-west of the town of Ruhengeri in the Virunga Massif in north-west Rwanda. Covering an area of about15,000 hectares, it is part of the Volcanoes National Park and is contiguous to the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gorilla Game Reserve in Uganda. The area is known for its mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) population.
The region contains Pleistocene volcanic peaks which form the watershed between the Nile and the Congo River systems. It also represents an important water catchment area for the surrounding agricultural lands. Vegetation varies considerably due to big elevation changes within the area. The lower mountain forest is mostly used for agriculture. In more elevated parts, there are Neoboutonia, bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) and Hagenia-Hypericum forests as well as grasslands and meadows.
Because of the political and economic situation in Rwanda, the biosphere reserve faces severe problems due to increasing population pressure and poverty. Expanding agricultural areas, poaching of gorillas, illegal wood and bamboo cutting and overgrazing constitute threats to the ecosystem.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Lower mountain forest; Neoboutonia forest; bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) forest; Hagenia-Hypericum forest with Hagenia abyssinica; grasslands; meadows; marshland; swamps and small lakes
  Location   01°21' to 01°35'S; 29°22' to 29°44'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   12,500
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +2,400 to +4,507
  Year designated   1983
  Administrative authorities   Office Rwandais du Tourisme et des Parcs Nationaux
  Brief description   Ecology and status of bird populations
Mountain gorilla and its habitat
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Habitat.
  Biodiversity   Birds, ecology, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Rosette Chantal Rugamba
Directrice Générale de l'Office Rwandais du Tourisme et des Parcs Nationaux (ORTPN)
B.P. 905
  Telephone   (250) 765 14
(250) 765 15 or 733 96
  Fax   (250) 765 12

Last updated: 17/12/2007

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