Elephants fast vanishing from Congo`s Okapi reserve
Washington: Elephants, a protected species, are fast vanishing from Congo`s Okapi Faunal Reserve (OFR), recording an alarming 37 percent decline over the past five years, according to surveys carried out by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), an environmental protection organisation.
WCS scientists warn that if elephant poaching in Congo, Africa`s second largest country, continues unabated, the species could become nearly extinct there within 10 years. Their numbers are already down to only 1,700 at the Okapi Reserve.
The survey by WCS shows that 5,100, or 75 percent, of the reserve`s elephants have been killed in the last 15 years. These numbers are particularly shocking as the OFR is considered the best protected reserve in Congo.
The park rangers cannot keep up with the dramatic increase in demand for ivory that is being fueled by economic growth in Asia, particularly China, and facilitated by increased access to previously remote forests. Ivory poaching is increasingly undertaken by highly organized and heavily armed criminal cartels, according to a statement by WCS.
The survey comes in the wake of another grim report earlier this month from Gabon where 11,000 elephants are said to have been slaughtered in Minkebe National Park over a 10-year period.
WCS continues to sound the alarm that rampant poaching is decimating elephant populations throughout Africa, and more needs to be done to protect them, or their populations may wholly vanish from many areas.
"The global poaching crisis for elephants is at epidemic proportions," said John Robinson, WCS Executive Vice-President for Conservation and Science. "The world must come together to recognize this problem and to stop the killing, trafficking and demand, or we will lose elephants in the wild in our lifetime."
During the civil war between 1996 and 2003, park rangers could not protect much of OFR but were able to document the elephant killings and ivory poaching. Since the end of the civil war, five years ago, the rangers claim to have reduced the decline from approximately 400 to 170 elephants annually.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- Fiji: Floating island restaurant in middle of ocean
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- Jayalalithaa returns as Tamil Nadu CM: As it happened
- Heatwave kills 223 in AP, Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu announces compensation; Delhi records hottest day