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BLOG

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

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...

investigation leads to 70 kg ivory seizure

On the 27th of January 2017 seventy kilograms of ivory was seized near a residential home in Ouesso, northern Congo. The group responsible for obtaining and selling the ivory is an ivory trafficking network that has been closely followed by WCS’s Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) since September 2016, when four members of the network were arrested following collaboration between the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) and the WCU. The network leader, alias ‘Daring’, escaped this initial...

over 100 African grey parrots seized in northern Congo

Last month over one hundred illegally captured African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus) were seized in northern Republic of Congo, not long after the world’s most trafficked bird was offered extra protection at the CITES CoP in September 2016. The seizures, leading to the arrest of three trans-boundary traffickers, took place during operations carried out by teams of rangers and investigators working under the Nouabale-Ndoki Foundation, a public-private partnership between the Congolese Government and WCS Congo...

A VITAL PIECE OF NATURAL HERITAGE TO BE SAVED

Ten years ago, in 2006, the government of Congo committed to the creation of a new protected area: the Ogooué Leketi National Park, to make a trans-frontier protected zone with the Plateau Batéké National Park in Gabon. The forest was, at the time, one of the last intact areas in southern Congo, naturally protected by the two rivers, the Ogooué and the Leketi, from which the park would take its name. It is priority site...

the sound of conservation

Cornell University’s Elephant Listening Project and WCS-Congo are launching a new study using hidden microphones in the forest to better monitor forest elephant populations and movements, pinpoint the gunshots of poachers, and record the biodiversity in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, Congo. Any animal (including humans) that makes a loud noise can be detected and recorded by the acoustic devices. Elephants are exceptionally good subjects for acoustic monitoring because they communicate using low frequency rumbles which can...

Hippos in the rainforest

A team of 6 six rangers congregated in the Joint Operations Centre at Bomassa Park HQ. Maps and photos taken during patrol flickered across the monitor screen as Christian Molango, the patrol leader, detailed what they encountered as they scouted along the banks of the Ndoki river. Then, something unusual caught everyone’s attention – a pair of hippos appeared on the screen....

Conkouati-Douli’s turtle guardians

On October 01-03 2016 the WCS Conkouati-Douli National Park team co-sponsored with Congolese NGO RENATURA a training session in the village of Belello for the teams which will monitor and protect Congo’s beaches during the current marine turtle nesting season. Forty-eight trainees (30 from WCS Conkouati and 18 from RENATURA) spent two days learning how to identify the different turtle species that frequent Congo’s Atlantic coast, as well as how to measure and tag...

mitigating human-elephant conflict in Bambama

WCS’s community development team is working with farmers in the periphery of the proposed Ogooué Leketi National Park to reduce the impacts of elephant crop raiding. Over recent years, the communities in the district of Bambama have suffered increasingly from incidents of crop raiding. Local farmers are exasperated by the problem, and can resort to desperate measures to protect their fields, with serious consequences for the elephants. ...

Dismantling northern Congo’s trafficking networks

The fight to protect northern Congo’s forest elephants has reached boiling point. In the past two months 32 poachers have been arrested, over 100 kilograms of ivory seized and six semi-automatic weapons detained across the Ndoki landscape. This includes the arrest of an ivory trafficker tied to one the most notorious poaching rings in northern Congo. ...