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

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...

Major Ivory trafficker jailed

Northern Congo’s notorious elephant poacher and ivory trafficker Daring Dissaka, 39, has been convicted with a five-year sentence. Connected to international ivory networks, Dissaka’s imprisonment represents another significant step forwards for the Republic of Congo’s justice system and forest elephant conservation in Central Africa. ...

Meet Frank Moutengue, a Ranger on the Frontline

Frank Moutengue is one of 44 rangers working to protect the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park from a relentless onslaught of poaching. Frank started out working for the Park as a young and enthusiastic construction worker. Bright and motivated, he was quickly noticed and was recruited as a research assistant at the Mondika Gorilla Project. Despite enjoying the work, particularly being part of the habituation process of a group of Western Lowland Gorillas, he always dreamed about...

Mbeli Bai

Mbeli bai is a large (12.8 ha) natural forest clearing located in the south-west of the Nouabalé-Ndoki national park, Northern Congo. Due to the mineral rich soils and aquatic vegetation, Mbeli Bai is an attractive resource for numerous elusive mammal species including the western lowland gorilla and the African forest elephant. The Mbeli Bai Study (MBS) was established in 1995 with the aim of enhancing our knowledge of western lowland gorillas and improving their conservation...

taking to the sky

On the 31st of April 2017, Jean Pierre Sagette, took WCS Congo to the air on its first surveillance flight. Jean Pierre, an experienced pilot with more than ten years of flying experience in Africa, is the newest member of the WCS Congo family. From his last position piloting charter planes in Mozambique, Jean Pierre is applying skills to the conservation realm for the first time. ...

How is climate change affecting Congo’s forests?

Between late 2015 and early 2016, the Congo Basin experienced the strongest drought of the past 30 years, due to a particularly strong El Niño Event. Predicted changes in climate will likely cause more of these ‘drought events’. Unfortunately, we do not know much about how these ‘drought events’ affect tropical rainforests. Do many trees die? Do large trees or small trees (or both) die? Do certain fruit trees (eaten by chimpanzees or gorillas) die...

Securing a future for elephants in Congo

At the end of February 2017 Government representatives, experts on elephant conservation and national and international stakeholders came together in Brazzaville to develop the Republic of Congo’s National Action Plan for Elephants. In April 2015 Congo burnt their ivory stockpile, over 4 tons in total, making a symbolic statement that the country only sees value in ivory when it is where it belongs… on elephants in Congo’s wild places. The following year, by confirming its...

Marching forward for wildlife

On the 28th of February 2017, the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park anti-poaching force gathered on the grassy lawn at the Park’s headquarters in Bomassa. The Congolese National Anthem was chanted as the modest troop of some 50 rangers saluted the flag’s ascent. The day marked an important step in the Park’s march to protect its forest elephants and the integrity of the World Heritage landscape. Forest elephant numbers are plummeting in many protected areas across central...

Conserving Congo’s only Community Reserve

Created in 2001, Congo’s only community reserve includes extraordinary biodiversity: the highest known local densities of gorillas in the world, large populations of chimpanzees, as well as the full range of other Congo forest creatures. The area is managed by the Ministry of Forestry Economy and Sustainable Development (MEFDD) in partnership with WCS Congo, through funding from USAID’s CARPE program. Commercial hunting and wildlife trafficking are currently the biggest threats to the areas wildlife. To...