Analysis of human-driven extinction of elephants in Nyungwe national park, Rwanda


  • Daniel Niyonsaba 1University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK), Faculty of Environmental and Development Studies, Kigali, Rwanda;
  • Pancras Ndokoye 1University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK), Faculty of Environmental and Development Studies, Kigali, Rwanda; 2University of Technology and Arts of Byumba(UTAB), Faculty of Agriculture, Environmental Management and Renewable Energy(FAEMRE), Gicumbi District, Rwanda;



Analysis, Re-introduction,, Extinction, Causes, Nyungwe national Park


 Nyungwe National Park (NNP) is one of Rwanda's largest remaining tropical forests. Due to the increasing threats from human activities, the park's biodiversity has been severely affected. In 1999, elephants were removed from the park due to these threats. This study, therefore, intends to analyze the human-driven extinction of elephants in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda from 1965 to 1999. The results revealed that the human activities that lead to the extinction of elephants in Nyungwe include: Poaching for ivory trade at 75%, poaching for bushmeat at 20,6%, poaching for traditional medicine at 2,7% and poaching for decoration at the late 0,8%. The illegal human-driven activities that led to elephant extinction were Poaching, Gold Mining and Logging/tree harvesting. These activities were promoted by Poaching for Ivory Trading, Poaching for Bushmeat, Poverty and Human-elephants conflicts. All of these degraded elephant habitats in various locations such as Kamiranzovu, Gasare, Bigugu and eventually resulted in the extinction of elephants in NNP. Conservation efforts that exist today in Nyungwe National Park need to be reinforced mainly for threatened species so that they may not become extinct from Nyungwe as well and reintroduction of elephants in Nyungwe is needed for sustainable conservation of Nyungwe’s biodiversity and tourism product development.   In addition to this, an assessment of habitat quality in areas formerly occupied by elephants in Nyungwe is also needed as a prerequisite for elephant re-introduction planning and implementation.


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How to Cite

Niyonsaba , D., & Ndokoye, P. (2023). Analysis of human-driven extinction of elephants in Nyungwe national park, Rwanda . Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 7(4), 183–198.