1. Benjamin Wilondja

2. Sébastien Mupenda


Rufford Foundation

(max. 300 words)Conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the dangerous and difficult one as species have been decreasing throught the time due to ongoing armed conflit that have depleted most protected areas. Traditional and armed hunting, clearing of suitable habitats for wildife and conversion of land for agriculture and pasture are among key threats to large mammals, especially hippopotamus. DRC along with Uganda were known to harbour major hippo population of the continene. With ongoing armed conflic and poaching, the number of hippo has been decreasing, especially in DRC. For example, hippo numbers have crushed in Virunga from about 30,000 to 2,400 individuals. The status of other populations is unkown for most of protected areas and rivers. This project aims at mapping hippo population in the eastern DRC and protecting existing on outside of Virunga NP.

Therefore, this project targets Luama river in the south east of DRC where hippos are reported but neither their numbers and distribution are known. Little has been done to support rangers in the upper zone of Luama but this needs to be strengthen.

This project will support prospection of hippo populations along Luama River and support ranger patrols along thr river. It will update distribution of hippos and their estimated numbers

Progress in 2020

The Luama Landscape Hippo project has been facing problems related not only to the COVID-19 but essentially the insecurity. The area has been under Mai-Mai control for more than a year preventing rangers from conducting patrols. However, the recent visit by rangers reported the persistence of Hippo on Luama River.