|Type||Anti poaching & human-elephant coexistence|
One of the largest remaining forest elephant populations in central Africa is found in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park and its periphery. Challenges to law enforcement in Odzala include the huge size of the area, the dense rainforest making movement difficult, the vulnerability of elephants in natural forest clearings (called ‘bais’) and when migrating outside the park boundaries, and threats from organized poaching networks and human-elephant conflict around its borders. The ECF has supported African Parks in Odzala since 2016, funding: satellite collaring to better understand elephant movement patterns – identifying high-use areas and corridors as well as poaching hotspots; extensive training allowing for an increase in the quality and capacity of rangers; intelligence program; infrastructure development including sector bases and access roads; field equipment; vehicles, motorbikes and boats; trials of human-elephant conflict mitigation methods. With this support, Odzala has been able to develop an intelligence-based approach to law enforcement, decentralize anti-poaching activities, and to make more strategic decisions about where to concentrate protection efforts to better conserve the park’s elephants. The ECF has provided 10 grants for African Parks’ work in Odzala, with three current active grants. Poaching pressure remains high but has stabilised thanks to African Parks’ efforts. Human-elephant conflict is a growing issue.