African park's mammals make a comeback

Jun 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: Study to use Google data search analytics to understand marine networks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes sequenced

7 hours ago

Nora Besansky, O'Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University's Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing ...

Bitter food but good medicine from cucumber genetics

7 hours ago

High-tech genomics and traditional Chinese medicine come together as researchers identify the genes responsible for the intense bitter taste of wild cucumbers. Taming this bitterness made cucumber, pumpkin ...

New button mushroom varieties need better protection

11 hours ago

A working group has recently been formed to work on a better protection of button mushroom varieties. It's activities are firstly directed to generate consensus among the spawn/breeding companies to consider ...

User comments : 0

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.