Law Enforcement

Poaching Is At An All Time Low Thanks To Akagera’s Law Enforcement Efforts

© Scott Ramsay
A Ranger team tracks key wildlife species.

One of the main reasons for the incredible restoration of Akagera National Park’s wildlife is an effective law enforcement strategy. By providing safety and security to the park and surrounding communities, the Rwanda Government and African Parks have had great success in reducing poaching in the park. This is so much so that wildlife populations have risen by almost 50%, and there has been no recorded loss of high-value species (elephant, rhinos and lions) to poaching since 2010, or from when they were reintroduced.

Canine Anti-Poaching Unit

Akagera’s K9 unit has played a significant role in its law enforcement strategy, as it improves capacity and provides increased monitoring and overall coverage of the park. Consisting of 16 dogs and 11 staff members, the K9 unit is used for rapid deployment and work together with rangers to patrol, track and deter illegal activities.

Securing The Park For The Long-Term

© Scott Ramsay
A member of the canine unit in training.

In 2021, Akagera’s 78-strong ranger unit, consisting mainly of people from local communities, performed 22,758 field days to find and deter illegal activity in the park during the year, resulting in just 16 arrests, indicating the efficacy of Akagera’s law enforcement and the strong support from communities. Only 13 animals were recorded lost to bushmeat poaching, five of which occurred outside the park.

Further training and up skilling of law enforcement teams on wildlife monitoring and tracking technology continues to be a focus, and the rangers are committed to maintaining their excellent track record and creating a safe haven for Akagera’s incredible wildlife species.