Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Elephants, large mammals recover from poaching in Africa's oldest national park

22.06.2006
A recent wildlife census conducted in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) revealed that several species of large mammal are now recovering from a decade of civil war and rampant poaching, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). Specifically, elephants and other species in the park have increased in number since the park's last census, due in large part to the anti-poaching efforts of park guards who patrol this World Heritage Site at great personal risk.

"The results of the census are encouraging, and proof that protecting the park's wildlife can be done in the most turbulent conditions," said WCS researcher Deo Kujirakwinja. "Poaching is still taking a toll on wildlife and the rate of recovery is being slowed as a result, but it is clear that the efforts of ICCN and its partners are finally leading to a reduction in the level of poaching."

Established in 1925, Virunga National Park remains the most species rich park in Africa. It once boasted the highest density of large mammals in the world before a wave of unrest and poaching descended upon the region. Since the 1960s, the park's populations of elephants, hippos, and buffalos have declined dramatically, with the heaviest levels of poaching occurring in 1980s and during the past 10 years since the beginning of the country's civil war in 1996. For instance, the park's once abundant elephant population--estimated at 4,300 in the 1960s--had been reduced to a few hundred individuals by 2003.

The most recent census--conducted between 9-12 June 2006 and funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service--found that efforts to protect the park's wildlife seem to be reversing this trend of decline, and that most of the park's large mammals have increased in number since the last census in 2003. Elephants have increased to 340 individuals from 265 in the past three years. The census also found approximately 3,800 buffalo (up from 2,300 in 2003). Uganda kob--a type of antelope--now number nearly 13,000, almost the same level for the species before significant poaching began in the 1960s.

Efforts to curb poaching have come with a high cost over the past few years. Over 100 park guards in Virunga Park have been killed since 1996 while trying to prevent poaching, and one was killed as recently as May 2006. Currently, park guards receive only $1 per month as a salary from the government, although this amount was recently increased up to $30 per month with funds from UNESCO from 2002-2005. Additional support for the park guards will come from the European Union through the Zoological Society of London in the near future.

Virunga National Park has been the major destination for tourists in the DRC since it was created, but recent unrest over the past decade has resulted in a decrease in tourism dollars as well as wildlife. Tourism in the region has the potential to generate significant revenues for the parks and the country. In Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, the tourism business has generated millions of dollars, not only for the parks but also for local communities throughout the region.

"Virunga Park will be the key to any tourism industry in Congo with its large mammals, gorillas, active volcanoes and biodiversity. It is clear that Congo needs to invest in the future of this park if they are to realize any of the benefits of tourism in future," said Dr Andrew Plumptre of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "It is also clear that park guards will need continued support if the park is to show an increase in the large mammal populations in future."

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>