The East African Bongo Antelope is one of the most strikingly beautiful animals to grace the high mountain forests of Kenya. It’s also one of the most endangered antelopes on the planet with a wild population of less than 100 animals. Poaching and habitat loss have taken a devastating toll, but recent, aggressive conservation action has reversed the decline, and the mountain bongo is making a comeback. Our scientists are working across international boundaries to save the bongo and with it, the ecosystem that supplies 80 percent of Kenya’s people with clean, fresh water.
Working closely with Kenyan partners, principally the Kenya Wildlife Service, Rhino Ark Charitable Trust and Mt. Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, our scientists are fostering the bongo’s recovery on multiple fronts. We have successfully achieved exponential growth in our U.S. captive populations and spearheaded the repatriation of 18 bongo to Kenya, paving the way for long-term, in-country population management, sustainable translocations and reintroductions. The international bongo team is also championing landscape-level habitat protection and effectively engaging communities throughout the bongo’s range to protect the species and its forest home.
The largest and most endangered forest antelope, the mountain bongo is a famously rare, shy and beautiful flagship species for Kenya’s high-mountain forests. Saving the bongo saves Kenya’s natural “water towers” that supply fresh water to Kenya’s people and some of the most expansive, biologically diverse ecosystems in east Africa.