Founded by Dian Fossey in 1978, The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is dedicated to the conservation and protection of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. DFGF supports continued research on the gorillas and their threatened ecosystems and provides education about their relevance to the world in which we live. In collaboration with government agencies and other international partners, it also provides assistance to local communities through education, health, training and development initiatives.
Fewer than 800 mountain gorillas are left in the world and the Grauer’s (eastern lowland) gorilla population is also endangered. Gorillas help maintain a very delicate balance in the rainforest and healthly rainforests are an important buffer against the ongoing global climate change that affects all of us. The DFGF staff of Rwandan and Congolese trackers, educators and health professionals are on the ground every day in Rwanda and Congo protecting gorillas in every way that they are threatened, including poaching, loss of habitat, and disease. The Gorilla Fund has been protecting and studying gorillas for more than 40 years, never leaving even during the most difficult times.
DFGF’s gorilla conservation activities take place on many levels and places, with people from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States, and around the world. In Rwanda the Fund’s Karisoke Research Center protects gorillas daily in Volcanoes National Park and cares for rescued gorillas. Since 2000, FGF has been expanding and diversifying the programs Dian Fossey originated to address pressing gorilla conservation challenges on a wider regional scale. Their Congo programs include support for rangers at Virunga National Park on the eastern border with Rwanda; care for rescued gorillas; rehabilitation of Maiko National Park further west; and support of a network of community-managed reserves in a 42,000 square mile landscape linking Maiko and Kahuzi-Biega National Park.
The Fossey Fund protects gorillas and other endangered species every day in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park through the Karisoke Research Center, including tracking and anti-poaching patrols; supports rangers in the Congo’s Virunga National Park and Maiko National Park; and works with community-based reserves that protect a vast wildlife corridor including most of the range of the Grauer’s (eastern lowland) gorilla.