Save Central Africa's Elephants

elephantAcross the wild landscapes of Central Africa, elephants are vanishing. One of the greatest threats comes from organized criminal gangs, who prowl through the last strongholds for these forest giants. Lured by easy money—the promise of the elephants’ ivory tusks—the poachers have turned many wildlife refuges into killing fields.

The situation is most dire in Zakouma, Chad. Two decades ago, 40,000 elephants plodded through these lands. By 2006, the population had been reduced to 3,500 elephants. Today, just 600 remain.

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Your support for our efforts to save Central Africa’s last great elephant populations will help WCS conservationists maintain and strengthen anti-poaching patrols, and work to bring the international ivory trade to an end.

elephant and baby
© Thomas Breuer

Forging Ahead in Tough Times:
How WCS Stays on Track

Elephant populations are holding steady in four Central African landscapes, where roads, logging, and human access are strictly controlled. WCS is working in all four of these refuges to save these beloved giants using these techniques:

Anti-poaching Patrols

WCS works hand-in-hand with governmental partners in these areas to train, equip, and support eco-guards. Since we arrived in Chad in 2008, with a small team and a surveillance plane to guide patrols, the poaching rate has been cut by 80 percent.


In Congo’s Ndoki landscape, and Gabon’s Ivindo National Park, WCS is tracking poaching activity and counting elephants. We share these numbers with our government counterparts, whose support is crucial for effective conservation.


WCS sponsors long-term elephant research at multiple sites. At Dzanga bai in the Central African Republic, Andrea Turkalo has spent years studying and monitoring individual forest elephants, recording their calls, and alerting park guards when their behavior signals danger. Our continued presence has helped ensure this population’s survival.

With your help, we can bolster our efforts to end the devastating ivory trade. Please donate now.

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