In the heart of Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a cornerstone for global conservation, its lush landscapes teeming with unparalleled biodiversity. More than a sanctuary for the iconic wildlife of the African rainforests and savannahs, the Congo is a critical ally in the fight against climate change. The Uélé–Bili–Mbomu (UBM) landscape is nestled within this ecological marvel, a sprawling wilderness area covering over 100,000 square kilometers.
In October 2021, a new aircraft was delivered to the African Wildlife Foundation office in Bili Uele in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This plane will be integral to the continued operations and logistics in this expansive forest landscape where travel is fraught, impeded by poor road networks and vast distances.
In Cameroon’s Campo Ma’an National Park, frequent bushmeat seizures are worrying conservation officials. From 2020 to date, African Wildlife Foundation’s team on the ground has reported a total of 1,392 kg bushmeat from different animal species seized from poachers. Most of the poached species have been duikers (850 kg), porcupine (214 kg), monkeys (183 kg), red river hog (50 kg), and pangolin (35 kg).
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature recently reclassified the two African subspecies of elephants separately, putting the savanna elephants in the endangered category and forest elephants in the critically endangered category. This World Elephant Day, African Wildlife Foundation ecologist Julien Nkono explains what this reclassification means and highlights AWF efforts to conserve the remaining herds.
Ranger, wildlife scout, or game warden — their essential and multifaceted roles at the front line help to conserve wildlife, natural habitats, and ecosystems across the world. In honor of World Ranger Day, we explore the diverse work of wildlife rangers and scouts in Zimbabwe, and celebrate their counterparts in Kenya: two African Wildlife Foundation staff members recently appointed as Honorary Wardens by the national wildlife authority.
Every year, World Ranger Day on July 31 recognizes the immense sacrifices made by rangers to protect wildlife. With the day come eye-watering statistics: tens dead in the line of duty and scores more injured or maimed. During last year’s event, the International Ranger Federation revealed that 137 rangers lost their lives between July 31, 2019 and July 31, 2020, 59 of them from Africa.
To collar a lion, you first have to find it. And anyone who has gone on safari will tell you that you could drive around a park for an entire week and see every species except this highly elusive big cat.
The Bili-Mbomu Protected Area Complex is a place of stunning beauty and rare wildlife in northern Democratic Republic of Congo, but it also faces significant challenges that threaten its continued existence. Deep within the heavily forested landscape, poaching, illegal fishing methods that poison water, artisanal gold mining, and slash-and-burn agriculture are slowly decimating biodiversity, leaving the complex a shadow of its former self.
As the world grapples with diminishing biodiversity and the devastating effects of our unhealthy planet, science is slowly beginning to recognize and acknowledge the role of indigenous people in maintaining essential ecosystems. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in 2019 found that over one million species of animals and plants are in danger of extinction over the next few decades.