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Inspiration, discovery and conservation in action from Congo’s wild places.

Kingo turns 40

Out of the thick forest, a loud grunt signals the presence Kingo, a 200 kg silverback gorilla, sitting on the forest floor calling to his group. Kingo Ya Bole, which means “The Loud Voice”, calls constantly to his group, but when agitated he inflates his chest and builds up a hooting crescendo delivered with a chest beat which can travel for hundreds of meters. First identified in 1999, Kingo was chosen to be habituated...

Second chance for Pel’s Fishing Owl

This young Pel’s fishing owl (Scotopelia peli) has had a rough couple of weeks. The chick, estimated to be about three to four weeks old, was seized at a road block on the periphery of the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Defined as integrally protected in the Republic of Congo, the country’s wildlife laws place this species in the same category of protection status as elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas. ...

A passion for wildlife

Talk to Gaston Abea about wildlife and you will see his face light up. He exudes enthusiasm in every task he tackles and it is quickly clear that he is extremely passionate about his conservation work in the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Abea has been part of several projects working to protect northern Congo’s wildlife over the past 17 years. Born in the village of Bomassa, located less than a kilometre from the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park...

Elusive Congolese Poacher Sentenced to Five Years in Jail

OUESSO, Republic of Congo (December 15, 2017) – A local court sentenced a notorious elephant poacher and ivory trafficker to five years in prison and a fine of 1,200,000 XAF (~2100 US$). The sentencing, which took place yesterday, is an indication that Congolese government is becoming increasingly serious about dealing with criminals that threaten the country’s natural heritage. Over the last 12 years, Benjamin Mbondo, known locally as “Benz,” had garnered an infamous reputation for...

HONEY PRODUCTION STRENGTHENS LIVELIHOODS IN NORTHERN CONGO

The harvest and sale of honey produced by wild bees generates income, and reduces pressures on families living near the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in northern Congo to turn to killing wildlife as a source of cash income. Finding ways to increase incomes and improve the living standards of families living in isolated areas is a challenge throughout the world. However, it is especially important in the communities living on the periphery of the Nouabale-Ndoki National...

Long term study demonstrates impacts of logging on chimpanzees and gorillas

A multi-year study published in Biological Conservation today highlights the impacts before, during and after selective logging on great ape populations. Research has shown human disturbance can have detrimental effects on great ape populations but now, due to a study published in Biological Conservation on Nov. 27th by Lincoln Park Zoo, there is evidence showing how selective logging impacts chimpanzee and gorilla populations differently by utilizing data collected before, during and after timber extraction on the periphery...

Roots of sustainable income in Lac Tele

If you take a plunge into the forest surrounding many of Lac Télé Community Reserve’s villages, you’ll quickly come across suspiciously neat rows of trees hiding amongst the undergrowth. Look closer, and you’ll see some have strange yellow pods, though many are rotting where they grow. Cacao trees, planted 40 years ago in many cases, are continuing to produce fruit. ...

Investing in tomorrow’s elephant protectors

A clash of colours mingles together as the group of children – dressed in their Sunday best - flock to the window to catch a glimpse of a massive bull elephant that has emerged from the forest to feed on a fruit tree. They have abandoned their task of meticulously colouring-in kaleidoscope elephants of their own, to excitedly watch this gentle giant peacefully feeding only a few metres away. ...

Parrots in Peril

The parrots arrive in a tiny bamboo cage. As the ranger lifts them out of the poacher’s dugout canoe their angry shrieks are deafening, a far cry from the ‘music of the forest’ that African grey parrots are known for. Many individual’s wing feathers are a mangled mess from the trapping glue, and they are so closely packed that a layer of parrots are being trampled and defecated on at the bottom of the cage....

Safeguarding the fish stocks of the Ndoki landscape

Fishing is an important traditional activity for the people living along the Sangha, Motaba and Ndoki Rivers, which snake along the boundary and through the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, are traditionally fishermen. Encamped on its banks, they rely heavily on the rich fish diversity of these rivers, their tributaries and wetlands. As traditional fishing methods evolve and the human population of the area grows, coupled with increased transport and commerce of fish in urban areas far...