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Keywords:

  • elephant;
  • Congo;
  • cyclotis;
  • dung;
  • counting;
  • forests

Summary

From February to April of 1989 transects were run in four forested areas of northern Congo (Brazzaville) to census elephant populations using dung counts. A total of 401.0 km of line transects was completed during the survey. An overall extrapolated density of 0.7 elephants/km2 was obtained with a variation from 0.3 to 0.9 elephants/km2. This study shows for the first time that elephants occur in high densities in a number of sites in northern Congo. When elephant dung density is plotted against distance from the nearest village for each transect a significant positive linear correlation results. Based on this correlation we hypothesize that the population of elephants in much of northern Congo is high. Local reports and our own observations indicate that elephant poaching is heavy in northern Congo and that the CITES ban on trade in African elephant ivory has had a limited effect on the level of poaching.