Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is the main study site for Dr. Beth Kaplin, Professor at University of Rwanda and Antioch University New England, and Director of the Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation. Many students of the Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation have undertaken internships, service projects, and thesis and dissertation research projects in this important forest protected area in collaboration with Rwandan colleagues.

Nyungwe Forest is a high-altitude, montane tropical rainforest in southern Rwanda established as a forest reserve in 1933. The conservation area consists of approximately 1015 km2. The forest is located in the Albertine Rift, a series of mountain ranges beginning at the Rwenzori mountains in western Uganda and including eastern D.R. Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and northern Zambia. Contiguous with Kibira National Park in Burundi, Nyungwe is one of the largest mountane rainforests remaining in Africa. Just recently the Nyungwe forest received National Park status, making it East Africa’s largest protected high-altitude rainforest.

Nyungwe’s biodiversity is astonishing by African standards and is one of the most endemic species-rich areas in all of Africa. Along with its biodiversity, Nyungwe is an important water catchment for Rwanda and contains many natural resources integral to Rwanda’s human populations. Rwanda is also in one of the most heavily populated areas of Africa with over 8 million inhabitants in a country the size of the state of Vermont in the United States. Nyungwe is under constant threat from anthropogenic and environmental stresses.

Current Research Projects

Note: If you have a research project you would like added to this list, please contact us.

Nyungwe forest conservation: ecotourism, education, inventory and monitoring. M. Masozera, I. Munanura, F. Mulindahab, A. Plumptre, M. Sindikubwabo, B. A. Kaplin, PCFN-WCS, Rwanda.
Email: Michel Masozera

Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) seed dispersal in an afromontane forest: an examination of microhabitat influences and post-dispersal seed fate. Nicole Gross-Camp and B. A. Kaplin, Antioch University New England, USA.
Email: Nicole Gross-Camp

Feeding ecology and ranging of chimpanzees at high altitudes. Michel Masozera, WCS, Rwanda.
Email: Michel Masozera

Enhancement of Tourism through the Conservation of Nyungwe Forest Chimpanzees. M. Masozera, WCS-Rwanda, BA Kaplin and N. Gross-Camp, Antioch University New England, USA.
Email: Beth Kaplin

Ranging behavior of a group of 400 colobus monkeys. Felix Mulindahabi, M. Masozera, A. Plumptre, P. Fashing.
Email: Michel Masozera

Long-term Phenological Studies and Altitudinal Gradients. BA Kaplin, Antioch University New England, USA, and M. Masozera and J.B. Gakima, PCFN-WCS, Rwanda.
Email: Beth Kaplin

Regeneration of burned forest: seed rain and germination studies. BA Kaplin, M. Masozera, I. Munanura, A. Plumptre, PCFN-WCS, Rwanda.
Email: Beth Kaplin

The effectiveness of buffer zones in mitigating human-wildlife conflicts
Email: Shawn Margles

Staff Research Assistants and Naturalists

(employed by PCFN)

Bird and mammal inventory team:

  • Sindikubwabo Martin, Team leader
  • Ntamunoza Augustin, Team member
  • Nkurunziza Francois, Team member
  • Hakizimana Jacques, Team member

Botany Team:

  • Gakima J. Baptist, Team leader
  • Nzakizwanayo Eraste, Team member
  • Ndiramiye Gratien, Team member
  • Kamarampaka Gratien, Team member
  • Ngayabahiga Ferdinand, Team member
  • Uhawenuwe Boniface, Team member

Chimp Tracking Team:

  • Ngirababyeyi Venerand, Team leader
  • Senyenzi Claude, Team leader
  • Nzaramba Innocent, Team leader
  • Ngizwenumwe Gerard, Team leader
  • Mulindandwe Felicien, Team leader
  • Baligomwa David, Team leader
  • Musonera Felicien, Team leader
Skip to content