Elephants Decline 50% in the Congo

Research conducted by the University of British Columbia showed a very large wild elephant decrease in the Eastern Congo due to human activities. Forest elephants in the Okapi Faunal Reserve declined at least fifty percent in the last ten years due to civil war and ivory poaching.

“The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo had a large impact on elephant populations, including those in parks and reserves,” said lead study author Rene Beyers. (Source: UBC)  It has also devastated hippos and killed many primates and monkeys for the bush meat trade. Of course many human  lives have also been lost. One estimate put the total at over two  and a half million people, just since 2004.

Conflict minerals such as cassiterite, wolframite, coltan, and gold are extracted from the Eastern Congo, and mining damages natural habitats. It also contributes to the destruction of wildlife because the militias kill animals for food. Animals are eaten to sustain the militias and sold to fund their operations.

Before the civil war there were about 22,000 elephants in the Eastern Congo and now there are only about 6,000. Two things that have been beneficial for the remaining elephants are the presence of a dedicated government field staff and international conservation organizations. The World Conservation Society, for example is studying elephants in the Congo to help conserve them.

Image Credit: Rene Beyers

Related Links

Elephants Save Baby Elephant from Drowning (Video)

Orangutan and Elephant Forests Protected

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

66 comments

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago

scary

Debbie W.
Past Member 4 years ago

Let's see how quickly we can obliterate the remaining 50%. Without proper laws for protection and enforcement thereof, it won't take long.

On the species chart, humans rank lowest in my opinion, with limited, isolated pockets of brain function still intact.

The human species is truly a bottom-feeder of epic proportions ... the kiss of death to anyone or anything that gets in the way of for-profit regardless of consequences.

Debbie W.
Past Member 4 years ago

Let's see how quickly we can obliterate the remaining 50%. Without proper laws for protection and enforcement thereof, it won't take long.

The human species is truly a bottom-feeder of epic proportions ... the kiss of death to anyone or anything that gets in the way of for-profit regardless of consequences.

Prochi T.
Prochi T.4 years ago

i sincerely hope the World Conservation Scy. succeeds in its attempts to save the most gorgeous animal on earth very soon. thank you.

Jackie Greeley
Jackie Greeley4 years ago

why can't humans leave the animals to live in peace.

Masha Samoilova
Past Member 4 years ago

sad

Dan and Tina Partlow
Daniel Partlow4 years ago

It is just disgusting what we are doing to our planet. I think mankind does not deserve to survive. We should go extinct and will probably cause it ourselves, but not before we end up destroying the rest of the planet and it's other inhabitants. Sad Sad Sad!!

Adrianne P.
A P.4 years ago

This is so sad. Humans keep stealing land and resources from the animals that were there first, not to mention poaching. Not long until the elephants are extinct too. :(