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Clear-cuts and remnants of rain forest flank the Vanduzi waterfall, on the east side of Mount Gorongosa. The mountain was added to the national park in 2010, but thousands of people still live on it. Many cut firewood to burn for heat and cooking, and many practice slash-and-burn agriculture.

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Scouting Mount Gorongosa in advance of the bioblitz, E. O. Wilson examines the insects caught in a net he swept through the grass.

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A traditional blessing ceremony before the bioblitz, Greg Carr stresses the importance of saving the forest. Tonga Torcida, a park guide, translates.

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Helicopters deliver park staff to a remote slope of the mountain. To protect the wildebeests and African buffalo reintroduced to Gorongosa, the park has hired guards to patrol and prevent more poaching. This park once sheltered one of the richest arrays of large animals in the world.

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Naturalists for a day, dozens of children who live on Mount Gorongosa bring E. O. Wilson sandwich bags full of specimens to identify during the bioblitz. Mostly they find insects. Most of the big animals are gone from the mountain.

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On his first trip to Gorongosa (and Africa), Wilson uses an experienced nose to identify a foam grasshopper. It’s named for the smelly, poisonous foam it emits.

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Local boys collect frogs and dragonflies around Murombodzi waterfall on Mount Gorongosa during a 2011 bioblitz- a two-hour sampling of its wildlife.

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Teams of miners with a government permit dig for gold. They’re about a mile outside Gorongosa Park- but within the watershed that sustains it. The future of the park depends on finding sustainable livelihoods for the people who live in the area.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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