Elephant poaching on rise in chaos-hit Central African Republic
Written by Reuters, Monday, 29 April 2013
The killings were part of a wider surge in poaching, fuelled by growing Asian demand for ivory, that threatened the region's entire elephant population, eight organizations said.
Impoverished but mineral-rich Central African Republic was plunged into turmoil in March when rebels charged into the capital and ousted President Francois Bozize, Reuters reports.
Bandits and rebel fighters continue to roam large parts of the remote country, aid groups say.
The World Wildlife Fund said its offices in the protected Dzanga-Sangha area had been looted three times in the past month and it had pulled out staff.
"The situation is really quite dangerous," said the WWF's head of policy in the region, Bas Huijbregts.
Dzanga-Sangha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to 3,400 forest elephants, smaller than their cousins on the African savannah with straighter, slimmer tusks.
The WWF said it and other campaigners had "received alarming reports from their field operations that elephants are being slaughtered in the violence-ridden Central African Republic (CAR)... initial reports indicate it may be extensive."
Eight conservation organizations working in the Congo Basin met in Brazzaville to propose ways for governments to tackle the rampant poaching, which claims an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 African elephants each year.
The groups, who also included the African Parks Network, TRAFFIC and the Wildlife Conservation Society, called on the African countries to build up their links with China and Thailand, two of Asia's biggest ivory importers, to find a solution to the crisis.
Representatives from the region's governments will meet next week to discuss the proposals.
Rhinos have already been hunted to extinction in the region due to demand for their horns for Asian medicinal concoctions.
Top stories this week
Airbus Defence and Space deploys LTE-based mobile CCTV solution as part of the Singapore Safe City Test Bed
by Cassidian, 22 April 2014
Airbus Defence and Space has deployed a vehicle-mounted closed circuit television solution as part of the project.
Airbus Defence and Space together with Sapura to establish long-term partnership in the field of C4ISR
by Cassidian, 17 April 2014
The companies have signed a collaboration agreement to establish a long-term co-operation in the field of C4ISR
Airbus Defence and Space presents the latest generation of electronic protection systems
by Cassidian, 16 April 2014
Airbus Defence and Space has presented new developments for the protection of troops operating in the world's hot spots.