Maiko National Park Congo

Maiko National Park Congo

Maiko National Park is a national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo lying in one of the most remote woodland areas of the country and covers around 10,885 square kilometers or 4,203 square miles. Parc national de la Maïko as known is French is divided into three sectors, spanning the states of Nord Kivu, Province Orientale and Maniema province. The three of the Congo’s remarkable prevalent faunas live here including the Eastern Lowland gorilla (Grauer’s gorilla), the okapi and the Congo peafowl. Maiko is also a significant spot for the protection of the African forest elephant, eastern chimpanzee and the pervasive aquatic genet.

Creation of Maiko National Park

In 1949, the Belgian colonial administration formed the Bakumu Hunting Reserve (Bakumu, meaning “The Kumus”, the innate tribe in the region) on a region that would later incorporate the boundaries of the Park as known nowadays. The original ideas for the area is assumed to have intended at thwarting the taking advantage of mineral resources rather the safeguard of the nature plus the flora and fauna. On November 20 of 1970, the Presidential Decree no 70-312 which is guaranteed to the law that had put up ICCN in the previous year, was signed into force by Joseph Désiré Mobutu. This paper declared the Maiko National Park to be a complete nature conservation area.

The rebel predicament

The Roadless and unreachable nature of the area made it perfect for some Simba rebels to use it as a safe haven following their defeat in 1964. Since then, they have been earning a scanty living by thieving on wildlife and running illegal mining undertakings in Maiko. The existence of the Simba also comes from the incapability of the governing bodies to follow the compensatory procedures mandated by the decree of 1970. This dangerous security state of affairs has made it challenging for the rangers to patrol and supervise the Park, principally after the ICCN was pressured by the Congolese army into managing their attacks towards the Simba. In addition, conservation work has also been troubled by the occurrence of rebels, culminating in incarceration and detainment of numerous survey crews between 2003 and 2005. At least three other rebels clusters are recognized to be active in different parts of the park including the Rwandan Interahamwe in the east. Put together, these threats leave unquestionably no control over the park area by the ICCN.

International conservation efforts

The first comprehensive survey of the Maiko dates back to 1989, when the Wildlife Conservation Society, supported by the ICCN (then ZICN) and reinforced by the World Bank, the European Community and the WWF, moved into the area and did a survey of around 950 kilometers of split. WCS additionally surveyed the North Sector in 2005. The Dian Fossey Gorilla fund piloted the first surveys of the southern sector of the park for over a decade in 2005 and recorded a gorilla population more extensive than before identified from earlier studies.

WCS did a survey of an added chunk in the South Sector in 2006. All these surveys put together showed that Maiko is exceedingly endangered yet supports a significant reservoir of widespread and uncommon species.

A more recent survey focused on the jungles west and south of the park in 2010 discovered that dangers had deepened since 2005 and also documented the extermination of one of the new gorilla sub-populations recorded in the 2005 surveys. All observations point out to the extreme hunting pressure by the miners and the prevalent use of guns as severe threats to the enduring animal populaces.

A new method to conservation has been the application of compensation measures for Simbas ready to leave the Park. In 2010, FFI started the construction of health centers and schools in villages falling inside the zone of influence of the Simbas. The same year FZS launched an go-getting project targeting at turning the Simbas problem around by enlisting some of them as park rangers and permitting a de facto social reintegration which would openly advantage nature conservation in Maiko.