Civil unrest in has made conservation exceedingly difficult in Chad. Several park guards have been shot and killed in recent years. However, safety conditions have recently improved somewhat and WCS is optimistic that it can increase on-the-ground elephant conservation work in and around Zakouma to protect the remaining population.
“The situation in Zakouma is dire, but there is still time to save the park’s remaining elephants provided we can marshal the forces we need to stop poaching,” said WCS President and CEO Dr. Steven E. Sanderson. “We need to continue to work closely with Zakouma’s dedicated park guards and give them what they need to do their jobs, while our own field staff provide aerial reconnaissance and technical support.”
WCS has established a fund to help save Zakouma’s surviving elephants. Members of the public can support this critical effort by going to: www.wcs.org/elephants.
History has shown that elephants can recover in Zakouma. Until this recent spate in poaching, elephant numbers have rebounded from an estimated 1,100 in 1985 to as many as 3,500 in early 2006.
The Wildlife Conservation Society first sounded the alarm two years ago when WCS researcher and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Mike Fay noticed a steep drop in the region’s elephant numbers during his “MegaFlyover” of some of Africa’s last wild places. Additional research, including radio-collaring and tracking individual animals, revealed that poaching was once again decimating these herds. A WCS pilot and light-aircraft permanently based in Zakouma now provides information to Chad’s park service about poaching activities and elephant herd locations. “Zakouma is a last stand for elephants in the Sahel,” said Fay. “It’s incredibly heartbreaking to stand before a dead elephant missing only its tusks. How can we stand idly by and watch this population continue to get slaughtered because of simple human greed?”
CNN’s “Planet in Peril” series—airing on Thursday, December 11th—gives a gripping account of the situation in Zakouma.
Efforts to save the African elephant have come from various levels of government and the international community, including the United States government. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its African Elephant Conservation Funds has invested more than $18 million across Africa since 1990. These funds have leveraged an additional $74 million through conservation organizations such as WCS, private donations, foundations, corporations, and other support.
Several WCS supporters have provided funds to purchase a used Cessna 185, recruit seasoned bush pilot Darren Potgieter, and begin aerial surveillance of the Zakouma landscape to strengthen the efforts of the small band of the government’s courageous park rangers. These overflights not only facilitate monitoring elephant numbers in difficult terrain, but have proven to intimidate poachers in the act of stalking and poaching elephants. The flights also boost the morale of the park rangers who work in dangerous conditions with little equipment.
The African elephant is listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and has seen a drastic reduction in total population across its range. In the 1900s, approximately 10 million elephants roamed across sub-Saharan Africa while today less than ten percent of that remain in the wild.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
Stephen Sautner | Newswise Science News
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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