A Year to Remember + The Work Ahead


Our planet is in the midst of an extinction crisis. 

Scientists now estimate that we’re losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate. Hundreds of species go extinct every single day.

But together, we are making a difference…

For more than half a century now the Fossey Fund has been a global leader in gorilla conservation – and our impact now extends beyond wildlife to emphasizing and supporting the human dimensions of conservation, as well.
Friends like you have made this possible – thank you. You are truly at the heart of gorilla conservation – YOU empower the Fossey Fund to help people and save gorillas every single day.

Because EVERY donor is part of our success, I’d like to take moment to share some of our recent accomplishments with you. 
  With YOUR help we are: 
The mountain gorilla population in the Virunga mountains has grown from 480 to 604! They are the only wild ape whose numbers are known to be increasing. And now, we’re replicating our proven model of conservation in nearby Democratic Republic of Congo to prevent the permanent loss of the rapidly declining Grauer’s gorilla population. 
Most of what is scientifically known about gorillas is based on studies conducted at our Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda. In addition to leading the world in the field of gorilla research and conservation, the Fossey Fund has become a pioneer in the field of biodiversity, as well, publishing studies on important species that indicate the overall health of the mountain gorillas’ forest home. Our research has revealed that many of these important indicator species are experiencing decline, a worrisome trend that we are actively working to address.
Scientists have been studying wildlife in Africa for centuries, yet only 2% of research papers on Africa are led by African scientists. We’re changing that. We not only prioritize investing in university students and aspiring conservationists at all levels in BOTH Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but we’re also committed to building the capacity of our own staff, as well. In 2018, the Fossey Fund supported more than 40 field staff in pursuing undergraduate and advanced degrees!
We know that conservation doesn’t happen in isolation, that’s why our work also addresses human needs by providing infrastructure, food and water security, healthcare, education, and livelihood programs for communities living near the gorillas’ habitat. Our programs now touch the lives of 15,000 Rwandans and 1,500 people living in the DRC each year.
Moses, the current environmental crisis is real – but so is our collective ability to solve it.

As you may already know, I’m a mom to two young girls. More than anything I want my children and my children’s children to grow up in a world where gorillas and other great wildlife still roam free.

As we wrap up 2018, we’ll be sharing some of the most inspiring field stories and photos from year with you via email and social media. 

If you’ve already made your gift this year, THANK YOU! I hope these stories and pictures will demonstrate just how hard your dollars are working to help people and save gorillas.

If you haven’t yet made your gift, I hope what we share in the coming weeks might inspire you to get involved! We need all hands-on deck to ensure that mountain gorillas continue to thrive and that Grauer’s gorillas get the chance to survive. 

No gift is ever too small to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the planet’s last wild gorillas.

With all of the organizations out there that are worthy of support, I want to thank you again for remembering the Fossey Fund in your year-end giving plans – we truly couldn’t do this work without you!
For the gorillas – and all wildlife,
Tara Stoinski, Ph.D.
President and CEO/Chief Scientific Officer

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