Akagera National Park in Rwanda has had great success in reducing poaching and protecting wildlife. Wildlife populations have risen by 48% since 2010 and not a single rhino, elephant or lion has been poached since. The park’s K9 unit, which is currently made up of 10 people and 16 dogs, has been a critical force multiplier in securing key wildlife in the park. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the park’s positive momentum as tourism, which represents a significant revenue stream for Akagera, came to a near standstill this year. Despite the loss in tourism income, Akagera’s K9 unit must continue to be funded to ensure the ongoing protection of the park’s iconic species, to maintain the tourism product and to provide continued training and maintenance in order for the K9 team to remain effective in keeping the landscape safe for people and wildlife.
The objective of this project is to not lose key species to poaching for the next 12 months.
- Support the K9 team members’ salaries;
- Equip the K9 unit with rations when deployed in the field;
- Maintain law enforcement vehicles and supply fuel and tyres;
- Hold ongoing training sessions with K9 handlers and their dogs;
- Ensure canine health by providing dog food, veterinary care and clean kennels.
This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.