BUJUMBURA February 4th (ABP) – The Ruvubu National Park located in the east of Burundi is witnessing a movement of “repopulating buffaloes” thanks to the package put in the faunistic protection of that protected area of Burundi, according to Mr. Samuel Ndayiragije, Director General of the Burundian Authority for Environmental Protection (OBPE), under the direct supervision of the Burundian Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock.
Mr. Ndayiragije said in an interview with the check by ABP that the last ad hoc count of January 31, 2017, showed that this park had around 1109 buffaloes. “Currently, when I see the whole package we have put in terms of protection and conservation, I can safely say that the number of buffaloes is gradually increasing and could fluctuate around 1300,” he said.
The other sign that does not deceive, he added, is that tourists describe more and more visibility especially in herds. “But our wish is not to see buffaloes in Buhinyuza and Kigamba communes where the bulk of the herds are. We would like these animals to extend their visibility in the other seven communes forming the Ruvubu National Park,” he said.
To the question of how this repopulation of buffaloes is beneficial to Burundi in environmental terms, Mr. Ndayiragije said that the interest is the protection of national biodiversity in fauna. “Indeed, the environmental protection plan, whether the buffaloes that are most numerous in this park, antelopes, warthogs, bush pigs, hippos and leopards that are less numerous; these animals are certainly an incredible wealth for Burundi, and are also of great tourist interest,” he said.
The buffalo is part of the category of large mammals much sought after by tourists, he revealed, citing lions, rhinos and elephants. Mr. Ndayiragije pointed out that Ruvubu National Park is the richest at the national level, especially for large mammals. “If you go to the Kibira National Park, you will not find any buffalo, if you go to the Rusizi National Park, you will meet hippopotamuses. The buffalo is only found in the Ruvubu National Park. Indeed, in time, this animal had a strong extension at the national level; currently, it is only found in the Ruvubu National Park,” he insisted.