Conference Paper (unpublished)

Regional surveys map the forest elephant crisis in Central Africa



Blake S, Maisels F, Ilambu O, Bokoto B, Makombo C, Boudjan P, Bene-Bene L, Williamson EA & Bayogo R (2005) Regional surveys map the forest elephant crisis in Central Africa. Society for Conservation Biology, Annual Conference 2005, Brasilia, Brazil, 15.07.2005-19.07.2005.

Anecdotal and limited scientific evidence indicate strongly that central Africa’s forest elephants are in the midst of a dramatic decline due to illegal killing for ivory and meat, and habitat fragmentation. The last regional inventory was published over 15 years ago, and current rigorous, science-based field inventories are immediately required to provide unambiguous information for conservation planning at all scales. We report on a region-wide systematic survey of elephants conducted under the auspices of the Monitoring of the Illegal Killing of Elephants Program (MIKE), centered on a suite of 6 critically important protected areas. The abundance and distribution of both forest elephants and human activity were quantified to inform conservation planning and implementation, and as a baseline for long-term monitoring. Field methods involved elephant dung and human sign counts on systematically distributed line-transects, and path of least resistance “reconnaissance” surveys. Analysis involved abundance estimation, distribution mapping from simple interpolations, and advanced spatial modeling. Results demonstrate that 1) the anecdotes were well-founded - forest elephants are in crisis, 2) complimentarity within the suite of survey methods provided compelling results of direct use at site, national, and international levels, 3) appropriate inventory and monitoring are essential to conservation planning and adaptive management

Publication date31/12/2005
Related URLs…shwater/meetings
Publisher URL…2005abstract.pdf
ConferenceSociety for Conservation Biology, Annual Conference 2005
Conference locationBrasilia, Brazil

People (2)


Professor Fiona Maisels

Professor Fiona Maisels

Honorary Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Professor Liz Williamson

Professor Liz Williamson

Honorary Professor, Psychology