Monkeys Roaming Freely in National Forests Could be Relocated to Nyungwe National Park

Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, has announced that monkeys have been causing trouble for residents in various parts of the country, prompting discussions with RDB on the possibility of relocating them to Nyungwe National Park, where they can find suitable habitats beneficial to the residents.

Nyungwe National Park is home to about 13 different species of monkeys, and is estimated to host between 20-25% of the monkey populations found in the southern part of Africa.

However, in different forest areas, monkeys often encroach on residents’ lands, to the extent that some can even be killed.

For example, in the City of Huye, over the years, residents have shown that monkeys have become numerous in the Arboretum forest, to the extent that they stay there for years.

This has led residents of Cyarwa sector and other areas around the Arboretum forest to grow fences and barriers to protect their crops and prevent them from causing destruction, anticipating a high yield.

In her meeting with Senators on the Commission of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, the Minister discussed the ways in which the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of 1992 will be implemented; she mentioned that the monkeys in the Arboretum forest will be collected and relocated to Nyungwe National Park.

She said, “There are monkeys but they are where they are, because they are in the forest. Instead, it’s about working with RDB to ensure that we co-manage and relocate them either in Akagera Park or Nyungwe, where there are others. But killing them is not the solution.”

She also mentioned “another issue like in Nyagatare where birds from the natural forest are causing damage to residents.”

“All these are issues we are discussing with RDB to see how we can address them.”

This is not only happening in Shyorongi forest and other areas, but also in the urban areas, where monkeys are seen wandering, which is alarming.

Minister Mujawamariya emphasized that it will require a lot of effort to ensure that these monkeys are protected in these forests as tracking them is challenging.

She said, “It is a great initiative, we will ask for resources to put something like a hangar where we can put what they love and what they can eat and stay there without being able to escape.”

“Then we will come to observe them in cars and visit them in Nyungwe. Here they will see what they usually eat, such as fruits and grasses.”

Minister Dr. Mujawamariya mentioned that as forests expand in the country, monkeys will also increase, including in various parts of Kigali City where these animals are found, revealing that when they increase, they will be relocated to Nyungwe National Park.

Overall, monkeys are among the most protected animals in Nyungwe National Park, and they have a special area where they can be observed by tourists.