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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The benefits of mountain gorilla tourism

Published source details

Harcourt A.H. (2001) The benefits of mountain gorilla tourism. Gorilla Journal, 22, 36-37


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Prohibit (livestock) farmers from entering protected areas Primate Conservation

A before-and-after, site comparison study in 1976-1988 in tropical forest of the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda (1) found that the number of immature mountain gorillas Gorilla beringei beringei on the Rwandan side of the park increased and snares decreased after the removal of cattle, along with other interventions. The number of immature individuals increased by 22% on the Rwandan side of the park, but had declined by 30% on the side of the park in the other two countries. However, no statistical tests were carried out to determine whether these differences were significant. Five years after cattle were removed, 30% of sampled quadrats on the Rwandan side of the park contained snares, compared to 70% of the sampled quadrats on the Ugandan and Congolese side. In 1976, all cattle were removed from the park in Rwanda. In 1979, a tourist project was initiated in the same site, which financed training, equipping and management of anti-poaching patrols. A conservation education programme was also implemented, but no further details of this programme were reported in the study. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Provide training to anti-poaching ranger patrols Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial and site comparison in 1976-1988 in tropical forest of the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda found that the number of immature mountain gorillas Gorilla beringei beringei on the Rwandan side of the park increased and snares decreased alongside the removal of cattle and other interventions. The number of immature individuals increased by 22% on the Rwandan side of the park, but had declined by 30% on the side of the park in the other two countries. No statistical tests were carried out to determine whether these differences were significant. Patrols were initiated in 1979, however, the study did not report on further details on the anti-poaching patrols. Funds provided by a tourist programme enabled the training, equipping and management of the anti-poaching patrols. In 1976, all cattle were removed from the park in Rwanda. A conservation education programme was also implemented, but no further details of this programme were reported. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Conduct regular anti-poaching patrols Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial and site comparison in 1976-1988 in tropical forest in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda (3) found that the number of immature mountain gorillas Gorilla beringei beringei on the Rwandan side of the park increased and snares decreased after the implementation of regular anti-poaching patrols along with other interventions. Two years after the implementation of regular anti-poaching patrols, 30% of sampled quadrats on the Rwandan side of the park contained snares, compared to 70% of the sampled quadrats on the Ugandan and Congolese side. Numbers of immature individuals increased by 22% in Rwanda, but declined by 30% in the other two countries. No statistical tests were carried out to determine whether these differences were significant. Patrols were initiated in 1979, however, the study did not report on further details relating to the methods used to implement the anti-poaching patrols. Funds provided by the income of a tourist programme enabled the training, equipping and management of the anti-poaching patrols. In 1976, all cattle were removed from the park in Rwanda. A conservation education programme was also implemented, but no further details were reported. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Provide better equipment (e.g. guns) to anti-poaching ranger patrols Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial and site comparison in 1976-1988 in tropical forest of the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda found that the number of immature mountain gorillas Gorilla beringei beringei on the Rwandan side of the park increased and snares decreased after the implementation of regular anti-poaching patrols, alongside other interventions. The number of immature individuals increased by 22% on the Rwandan side of the park, but declined by 30% on the side of the park in the other two countries. However, no statistical tests were carried out to determine whether these differences were significant. Patrols were initiated in 1979, but the study did not report on further details relating to the anti-poaching methods used. Funds provided by a tourist programme enabled the training, equipping and management of the anti-poaching patrols. In 1976, all cattle were removed from the park in Rwanda. A conservation education programme was implemented, but no further details were reported in the study. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Run tourist projects and ensure permanent human presence at site Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial and site comparison in 1976-1988 in tropical forest of the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda found that the number of immature mountain gorillas Gorilla beringei beringei on the Rwandan side of the park increased and snares decreased after the initiation of a tourist program, along with other interventions. In 1981, sampled quadrats on the Rwandan side of the park contained 30% snares compared to 70% on the Ugandan and DRC side of the park. Immature individual numbers increased by 22% in Rwanda, but declined by 30% in the other two countries. No statistical tests were carried out to determine whether these differences were significant. In 1979, the Mountain Gorilla Project implemented a managed tourism program. Using the income generated by this program, the training, equipping and management of anti-poaching patrols was made possible. A conservation education program was also implemented, but no further details of this program were reported in the study. In 1976, all cattle were removed from the park in Rwanda. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.