|Biosphere Reserve Information|
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|
|Transition area(s) when given|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||+2,400 to +4,507|
|Administrative authorities||Office Rwandais du Tourisme et des Parcs Nationaux|
|Last updated: 17/12/2007|