Community antipoaching patrol program

The Itombwe Mountains in the East of the DR Congo is one of the most important sites in Africa for biodiversity conservation. This area contains numerous gigantic trees and threatened wildlife species that are unique, notably chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) and many other threatened animal species. However, wildlife and its forest habitat in Itombwe Mountains have been declining for many years, as a result of sharp more poaching and deforestation. Local people are often hunting wild animals for subsistence bush meat. Loggers, artisanal miners and agriculturalists cut down forest and reduce tree cover.


Deforestation and bush meat hunting in Itombwe Mountains therefore threatens the health of a forest ecosystem of planetary importance, putt the continued survival of wildlife at high risk and lead to increased accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere, which will result in the greenhouse effect that contributes to global warming and climate change.


IGH has set up Community Patrol Teams to combat deforestation and poaching within Itombwe Mountains, focusing on Itombwe nature reserve. Community Patrol Teams are made up of 24 well trained, well equipped and highly disciplined local people who deliver the day-to-day protection, ongoing site and species monitoring, and better care for the beautiful but vulnerable rainforest and biodiversity in Itombwe.


Community Patrol Teams spend 20 days per month patrolling. During the field patrols, they remove snares, destroy poaching camps, and especially deter presence of poachers, artisanal miners, woodcutters and charcoal burners in the forest. In addition, they record GPS location and estimate age for each illegal activity encountered during the field patrol operations, in order to allow planning future patrol activities according to the spatial distribution of illegal activities in the forest and their impact on wildlife and forest habitat.


Monthly patrol data recorded and routes walked are thoroughly analyzed, interpreted and processed with the Program SMART (


Years of patrol efforts to protect biodiversity and wildlife habitat have resulted in removal of 26,327 snares, destruction 485 poaching camps and arrest of 17 offenders in Itombwe nature reserve. Likewise, 759 stacks of charcoal and a large stock of illegally sawn wood were seized since the start of our ccommunity antipoaching patrols.


However, illegal activities are still problematic in Itombwe nature reserve, and we need your support to constantly reduce threats to the wildlife and the forest.

How you can help

If you would like support IGH to pay for the equipment and provide monthly funding for the wages of Community Patrol Teams who patrol the remote Itombwe forest to protect wildlife and forest habitat that are facing extinction, please get in touch at


Adress : Atala-Abelu’wa, Secteur d’Itombwe

PO Box 1087

Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Phone: +243 (0) 812 320 958



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