Land cover change in the Virunga landscape

Last update on Feb. 24, 2014.

The Virunga landscape has one of the greatest diversities of habitats globally within about 790 thousand hectares. Thousands of hippopotamuses and elephants live in the park's rivers and its mountains are a critical area for the survival of the mountain and lowland gorillas. However, these habitats have undergone dramatic changes in land cover and use during the last 3 decades, and in particular after the genocide in Rwanda, which led to a massive influx of refugees into DRC and the Virunga landscape. The below maps show changes in vegetation cover between 1995 and 2005. These maps are being developed as part of an ongoing project to assess the relationship between changes in population dynamics in the region and vegetation cover.

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