African park's mammals make a comeback

June 22, 2006

Scientists say they believe several species of large mammals are recovering from a decade of civil war and poaching in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A recent wildlife census conducted in that nation's Virunga National Park revealed elephants and other species have increased in number since the last census.

Officials of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation say the increase is due, in large part, to anti-poaching efforts of park guards who patrol the World Heritage Site at great personal risk.

"The results of the census are encouraging, and proof that protecting the park's wildlife can be done in the most turbulent conditions," said WCS researcher Deo Kujirakwinja.

Established in 1925, the park remains the most species-rich in Africa. The park's once abundant elephant population -- estimated at 4,300 during the 1960s -- had been reduced to only a few hundred by 2003.

Guards at the park receive only $1 a month as a salary from the government, although that amount was recently increased to $30 per month with U.N. funds.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Mountain lions likely to go extinct in Santa Monica Mountains in fifty years

Related Stories

Climate change taking toll on American pika's Western lands

August 26, 2016

Populations of a rabbit-like animal known as the American pika are vanishing in many mountainous areas of the West as climate change alters its habitat, according to findings released Thursday by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Thai farmers launch (bee) sting operation to stop elephants

August 25, 2016

To stop wild elephants from rampaging through their produce, farmers in Thailand put up electric fences, set off firecrackers and even switched their crops from pineapples to pumpkins, which the pachyderms don't relish much. ...

Popular Yellowstone River closes after thousands of fish die

August 19, 2016

Montana wildlife officials indefinitely closed a 183-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River and hundreds of miles of other waterways Friday, barring all fishing, rafting and other activities to prevent the spread of a parasite ...

Recommended for you

Thunderstorms spread mercury pollution

August 31, 2016

In the southern United States, an afternoon thunderstorm is part of a regular summer day. But new research shows those storms might be doing more than bringing some scary thunder and lightning.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.