The world’s most trafficked mammal may vanish before many people have ever heard of it. The pangolin, a shy and scaly animal, resembles an armadillo and is found in both Africa and Asia. All eight species, four found on each continent, are decreasing in population and are at risk of extinction.
Sugarcane grown in southern Tanzania’s Kilombero landscape makes up 33 percent of the total sugar produced in the country. African Wildlife Foundation partner Kilombero Sugar Company, the largest sugar producer in Tanzania, works with 8,000 outgrower sugarcane farmers who supply the company to complement harvests from its plantations.
Springing from Dja Faunal Reserve’s dense rainforest, Bouamir is one of the largest and most iconic outcrops in this 5,260 sq. kilometer protected area in southern Cameroon. It is also home to the landscape’s great apes, so when a baby chimpanzee was discovered alone in an abandoned house in the nearby village of Nemeyong she was named after the great rock Bouamir as a symbol of her resilience.
The population of the world’s tallest land mammal is shrinking. Over the last three decades, giraffe numbers have dropped 38 percent — from 157,000 in 1985 to an estimated 97,500 in 2015. This decline led the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2016 to heighten giraffes’ conservation status from “least concern” to “vulnerable.” More recently, IUCN uplisted multiple giraffe subspecies even further: The Kordofan and Nubian giraffes, who together have around 4,500 mature adults, are now classified as critically endangered, while the reticulated giraffe is classified as endangered.
The Virunga Massif is a vestige of Central Africa’s tropical biodiversity but myriad threats are placing the region’s critical ecosystems and species at risk. Spanning Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park, the massif is home to the endangered mountain gorilla, one of the world’s largest and most threatened primates. Though their habitats are protected within national parks, these great apes have historically been killed by poachers, threatened with human encroachment into protected forests, and have been threatened as civil strife uprooted the dynamics of its landscapes. In the early 1980s, mountain gorilla numbers in the Virunga Massif area (not including the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest populations) were as few as 230 individuals.