Gorongosa National Park is one of the most beautiful and special places in Africa. Thanks to its varied terrain, the richness of its soil, and the blessings of plentiful rain, Gorongosa boasts a remarkable variety of different ecosystems, each with its own "cast of characters":
After several surveys, some of the world's leading scientists have declared Gorongosa to be one of the most "biodiverse" places on Earth - that's a scientific way of saying Gorongosa is home to an astonishing range and variety of creatures, some of which are "endemic" or unique to this park. Every year, we discover more and more reasons why Gorongosa is truly special. And why it needs very special protection.
The critical job of protecting and saving this priceless world treasure falls to our Department of Conservation. Led by our Director Dr. Rui Branco, these passionate and dedicated men and women are at the front lines of our effort to preserve Gorongosa for future generations. It's a complicated job, and the Department employs over 300 people, 99% of whom are Mozambican, in their wide-ranging approach, which includes;
- Law Enforcement
- Ecological & Wildlife Management, including our Large Carnivore Recovery, Wildlife Veterinary & Re-introductions,
- Human Wildlife Co-existence, and
- Conservation Technology
Many of these initiatives are long-term education and development projects, employing locals and educating Mozambican's and visitors in the importance of maintaining the Park, not simply for it's beauty and tourism potential, but also for the "ecosystem services" it provides - another way of saying that the health of the people and the country depends on the health of the Park. Wildlife in the Park has rebounded significantly since the genesis of the project, although some of the more fragile populations need a boost, and these are carefully being reintroduced to the Park, including painted wolves, zebra, leopard, hyena and eland.
Others initiatives are more immediate, with our Rangers fighting illegal logging and poaching syndicates that traffic ivory and pangolins, and our Rapid Respond Veterinary team reacting in real-time to rescue wounded animals such as lions or elephants. It's incredibly hard work: rangers patrol endless miles of wilderness for days on end, away from their families and the comforts of home. They often put themselves at risk in the fight against wildlife crime. But, as difficult as it is, it's also incredibly rewarding work: these men and women can rightly feel proud of the vital role they play in protecting this beautiful place and its majestic wildlife.
Conservation works closely with the other departments; especially Science and Human Development, to strengthen relationships, and conserve the greater ecosystem.
We invite you to spend time learning about the ways our Department of Conservation ensures Gorongosa will remain wild and free by reading more about some of the initiatives currently being supported at the Park.