Elephant Population Halved Around National Park in Republic of Congo

Photo Credit: Thomas Breuer/Wildlife Conservation Society

Elephant populations are falling in the Central African country of Republic of Congo due to illegal poaching, according to a new survey.

  • Elephants are hunted illegally (poached) for their ivory tusks.
  • Most of this ivory is sold in China and Vietnam, but some does end up in the United States and Europe.
  •  The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) surveyed the forest elephant populations outside of the Republic of Congo’s Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park from 2006 until 2011.
  • The WCS survey found that the number of elephants outside of the park had decreased by more than half, dropping from 13,000 to 6,000 elephants in that short period of time.
  • However, because Nouabalé-Ndoki has more regulation and guards against poaching, inside the park African elephant population stayed about the same.
  • WCS is calling for an increased effort to protect elephant populations in Africa.
  • African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) are different from the savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana). The savanna elephant is the larger and better-known species.
  • African forest elephants are also found in the following African countries: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo (DRC), and Central African Republic

Read more: Elephant numbers halved in Central Africa in 5 years.