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.
This website exists as a clearinghouse of information for researchers, activists, and citizens interested in visiting, studying, conserving and working in this complex and valuable landscape.
For more information contact The Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation