Wildlife protection: The Odzala National Park-Kokoua conducts laying collars on elephants (Republic of the Congo)


Agence d’Information d’Afrique Centrale

Date Published
Translated from French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for original. Thank you to Anne Dillon for volunteering time to finding these French articles and doing the online translating.
Research and Monitoring Department Head National Park Odzala-Kokoua Torsten Bohm, said Nov. 25 in Mbomo, the continuation of the port operation collars on elephants enrolled in the reliable management under these protected animal species.

Begun on 13 November, within the protected area, this operation will end on 1 December with the aim of targeting, for the moment, a dozen elephants. 
Laying collars on elephants is an operation that is done once a year. This activity is very dangerous and sometimes poses enormous problems if the animal is not heavily asleep. Currently, it is a little more complicated because of the heavy rains that plague the park area and the lack of funding.
In 2014, the collars were put on six elephants. This year, two elephants are targeted for the laying thereof.
“We want to track the movement of elephants in the park. And, follow the movements of those on the eastern outskirts, South, West and Centre to understand the impact of elephants on the surrounding population and plan the reduction of human-elephant conflict. This work helps us to take blood samples from the animal and do laboratory tests. For now, heavy rain did not help us easily find traces of elephants,” said Torsten Bohm.
Besides monitoring and control, wearing necklaces also helps the park authorities to assess and identify cases of poaching of these animals. 
“There are several concessions around and elephants ignoring the boundaries of the park roam everywhere. Based on this work, we will cooperate with our colleagues who work in these concessions so they give us useful information and coordinate anti-poaching patrols,” he continued.  
The old estimates suggest that we could count up to nine miles in Odzala-Kokoua National Park. These statistics are to be reviewed according to the Research and Monitoring Department head: 
“We who are in the field believe that this figure is declining. It is currently valued around five to six thousand éléphants. We deplore the rampant poaching in the area, causing serious injury to a treaty elephant, specifically in the shoulder.”
Very subsequently, the Odzala National Park-Kokoua, through the skill service will also be used, installing in trees camera traps to monitor the status of the elephant population and whether this forest area is attended or not by these mammals.
In addition to elephants, the National Park Odzala-Kokoua also started a habituation process of gorillas to human presence to develop tourism.
To strengthen wildlife protection, a study will be conducted on the hyenas, chimpanzees, leopards and buffalo.
Recall that the forest elephant is the only species of these pachyderms that exist in Congo and Odzala National Park-Kokoua, which is wide, with an area of ??13,546 square kilometers.