Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MISSING: 2,000 Elephants

15.12.2008
Elephants in Zakouma National Park, the last stronghold for the savanna elephants of Central Africa’s Sahel region, now hover at about 1,000 animals, down from an estimated 3,000 in 2006. Ivory poachers using automatic weapons have decimated elephant populations – particularly when herds venture seasonally outside of the park.

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
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The disappearance of common species
01.02.2018 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>