Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Widespread elephant slaughter discovered in Chad

Conservationists find 100 recently killed animals near national park

A team led by a conservationist from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society, working with the Chadian government and the European Union project CURESS near Chad's Zakouma National Park, has discovered 100 slaughtered elephants, most of them missing only their tusks -- a sure sign that poaching is on the upswing just outside of this renowned protected area.

Mike Fay, a WCS conservationist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and his team discovered five separate elephant massacre sites totaling 100 individuals during a survey made Aug. 3-11 from their small plane. Fay also was on assignment for National Geographic magazine. All the elephants were killed since the end of May 2006, more than 50 of them in the days just before they were found. At one of the killing sites Fay observed a camp with six horses and five men, who quickly packed up as the plane flew over.

"Zakouma elephants are getting massacred right before our eyes," Fay said. "We hadn't been in the air more than two hours when we saw our first carcass. It was fresh, maybe just a few weeks old, not far from the park headquarters, and the animal's face had been chopped off, the tusks removed.

"Two days later we were flying west of that area when we saw a poachers' camp. The second time we passed over I saw a guy and a horse and an assault rifle in the poacher's hands. The third time we flew over, this time only about 150 feet above the camp, I could see the man shooting at us." No one was hurt.

Zakouma National Park in southeastern Chad makes up part of a Texas-sized region of central Africa that until the 1970s was one of the continent's most intact wilderness areas, abundant in wildlife. The general region was home 30 years ago to some 300,000 elephants, a number that has dwindled to perhaps 10,000 today. Encompassing nearly 1,900 square miles, Zakouma is now one of the last bastions of wildlife in all of central Africa, thanks to funding from the EU.

Fay led a survey team also commissioned by the Chadian government and CURESS in 2005 that counted 3,885 elephants in Zakouma Park. A year later they could find only 3,020. It was not known whether the drop reflected a loss of elephants or the possibility that a large herd was missed in the second count. The latest survey, partly funded by National Geographic, was commissioned to assess the level of poaching during the wet season, when the elephants wander outside park limits to forage and are vulnerable to attack.

Elephants in the park have enjoyed strong protection from the Chadian government and the EU, but the large percentage that leaves the park during the wet season has not been as well protected. All hunting of elephants in Chad is illegal, and the sale of ivory has been banned since 1989, though black-market trade is increasing. Zakouma is only about 150 miles west of the conflict area of Darfur and is in the path of recent rebel activity in Chad, thus security is low and borders are porous in this isolated region.

Fay took information of the massacres to Chadian and EU officials, who are enacting an emergency plan with contributions from the African Parks Foundation and others, which will increase aerial surveys and extend patrols outside the park through the wet season that ends in late September. They hope to raise funds and awareness to control poaching in coming years with aerial patrols as well as to significantly increase ground security and information gathering.

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

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

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: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>