News Release- WCS and WWF Conservation Staff Evacuated from Central African Republic World Heritage Site, Recent Elephant Slaughters Extensive
April 25, 2013 -- WWF and WCS have received alarming reports from their field operations that elephants are being slaughtered in the violence-ridden Central African Republic (CAR), where new powers in place struggle to gain control over the situation. The conservation organizations are issuing today a joint call for immediate action.
Due to the violence and chaos in the area, the exact number of elephants slaughtered is not known, however initial reports indicate it may be extensive. WWF has confirmed information that forest elephants are being poached near the Dzanga-Sangha protected areas, a World Heritage Site. Elephant meat is reportedly being openly sold in local markets and available in nearby villages. The security situation is preventing park staff from searching the dense forest for elephant carcasses.
The two organizations, WWF and WCS, that have worked in CAR since the 1980s, are calling on the Central African Republic and its neighbors to immediately increase security in the region to protect the area's people and elephants. Governments are meeting next week at an extraordinary meeting to discuss ways to stop the poaching that has plagued the region. Up to 30,000 elephants are killed in Africa each year for their ivory tusks, which are in demand in Asia.
The following statements have been issued by WWF and WCS:
Jim Leape, WWF Director General said:
“The elephant poaching crisis – driven by insatiable ivory demand – is so severe that no area is safe, not even the World Heritage Site Dzanga-Sangha where both WWF and WCS have now worked for the conservation of elephants for decades. Heroic rangers are standing firm in the face of immense danger, but they alone cannot safeguard the special species and places the world treasures. When meeting next week, Central African governments must urgently join forces against this criminal activity that is also threatening the stability and economic development of their countries. I encourage them in the strongest terms to take a stand against wildlife crime and together declare that poaching and illicit trafficking will not be tolerated.”
Cristian Samper, WCS President and CEO said:
“Together, WCS and WWF, are calling on the Central African Republic government to immediately increase security in the region to protect these elephants from poachers and are asking other regional governments to provide assistance to stop the killing. Our staffs have been forced to evacuate in the chaos. I recently visited CAR and saw first-hand that without a full-time conservation presence in the region, these elephants are in jeopardy from poachers. WCS and our partners will continue to work tirelessly to protect elephants across their range.”
WWF has worked in Dzanga-Sangha for 30 years and supports protected area management, gorilla research, law enforcement and tourism development. WCS has been in the area for more than 20 years, in charge of monitoring and research of the elephants of Dzanga Bai, a forest clearing containing a mineral-rich watering hole. In addition, WCS works immediately across the border in the Republic of Congo to protect the same population of elephants where the government is working to ensure their additional security on that side of the border.
April 2013 Newsletter:
Our latest newsletter is now out! Click on the link below for some brief updates on what we have been up to lately:
April 2013 Newsletter
WCS Canada Reports Safe Havens and Safe Passages Key to Conserving Wildlife: Proposes "Climate Smart Strategies" for the Southern Canadian Rockies
WCS Canada has released a new report on a conservation strategy promoting wildlife resilience to future climate change and road use impacts in the Southern Canadian Rockies (SCR). The report was informed in part by an assessment of six iconic species (such as grizzly bears and bighorn sheep), five of which were ranked as highly vulnerable to these projected changes. In the report, WCS Canada's John Weaver assesses 16,978 square kilometres of SCR land for conservation value based on the needs of the vulnerable species, and recommends a portfolio of conservation lands including a 'Southern Canadian Rockies Wildlife Management Area'.
Read the full press release on the report.
For the full report, click here.
Saving Wildlife and Wild Places
WCS first worked in Canada in the early 1900s and has had a permanent Canadian research presence since 1997. Our current projects address serious problems facing key species and the ecosystems they inhabit across the country. WCS Canada, an affiliate of WCS Global, was organized as a Canadian nonprofit corporation in 2004.
WCS Canada generates and shares knowledge and understanding about key wildlife species and their survival needs with conservation groups, resource agencies and governments. This science, developed through detailed field research, helps to guide decisions and planning for how to best protect both species and ecosystems. We work with partners and stakeholders to design, implement and support field projects that address major conservation issues, including assessment of the future survival needs of species in the face of land-use changes and resource use, changes in the status and trends of wildlife populations, and the design of conservation-based land use plans.
Our Approach to Conservation
Read our strategic plan to find out more about how we work to conserve Canada's widlife and wild lands.
Our Role: WCS fills a science gap in Canada
Our Approach: WCS’ strategic Plan to advance conservation in Canada
Our Partnerships: No one organization can do this alone
Building for the Future: Increasing capacity for science conservation at WCS Canada
WCS Canada comments at the Standing Committee on the Environment
WCS Canada was invited to appear before the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development as part of a study to provide recommendations regarding the development of a National Conservation Plan. WCS Canada’s Dr. Damien Joly gave a 10 minute presentation on May 15th, 2012 in Vancouver. Click here to read our recommendations.
On the Wild Side
Welcome to On the Wild Side, WCS Canada’s e-newsletter. Through this newsletter we keep our colleagues and supporters informed about the great wildlife conservation work being done by WCS across Canada.
Partners in Conservation
With generous support from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
, WCS Canada will expand and strengthen its science capacity in Northern Ontario and in the Yukon/Northern British Columbia, (Yukon/.B.C.). Using these funds, we will ensure that our increased scientific capacity leads to greater conservation accomplishment, the mentoring of young scientists, and the application of scientific results to help achieve long-term conservation goals. WCS will accomplish this by integrating the results of our conservation field science -- such as our work on caribou, Canada lynx, wolverine and freshwater fish to inform conservation-based land-use planning that will help ensure that ecological integrity is in place at each long-term site.
WCS Canada gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation: