Akanyaru Wetlands

Speckled Mousebirds

Akanyaru wetlands are located in the south of Rwanda, north-east of Butare, on the international border with Burundi, and lie close to Rwihinda Lake Nature Reserve in Burundi.

The vegetation consists of a variety of marshy habitats and papyrus swamp. Early successional stages are occupied by floating vegetation dominated by Pistia stratiotes, Leersia hexandra and Oryza barthii. Intermediate stages are a mixture of Typha australis, Miscanthidium violaceum, Cladium jamaicense and some papyrus. More complex habitats are occupied by Typha australis, Miscanthidium violaceum, Cyperus denudatus, Cyperus latifolius and Echinochloa pyramidalis. There are expanses of papyrus, either as pure stands or combined with shrubby vegetation. Average annual rainfall is estimated to be 800 mm.

Birding Importance

The birding site’ strength lies in the availability of over 54 species of wetland habitats among which include migrant and globally threatened Papyrus Gonolek, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Pallid Harrier, Great Snipe and Lesser Kestrel. One species of the Guinea-Congo Forest biome, three of the Afrotropical Highlands biome and eleven species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome that occur in Rwanda have been recorded at Akanyaru wetlands.

Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei)

Mountain gorillas are the largest living primates and the world's most endangered apes with a population of less than 800 individuals world over- none in zoos. They are found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

They share 97% DNA with human beings! They are our closest living cousins after the Chimpanzee, They have up to 25 vocalization for communication

Mountain Gorillas are shy, social and very active during day. They live in families of 8-25 members with one leading male (The Silver Back).

Gorillas have a lifespan of 50 years in the wild. They reproduce at a very slow speed with a gestation period of approximately 8.5 months and an interval of four years to the next birth.

Diet: Mainly herbivores eating fruits, herbs, leaves, stems, roots and shoots. Sometimes ingest small insects like ants and termites.

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