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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Emergency Response to Elephant Poaching in Cameroon

Today's guest blogger, Dirck Byler, is a Program Officer for the Great Ape Conservation Fund with the Service's International Affairs office in Arlington, Virginia. Today, he shares a story about his recent trip to Cameroon.

In February, I was in Cameroon to meet with students attending the Garoua Wildlife College, a regional institution supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The College trains young professionals from French-speaking Africa in wildlife management.

community in CameroonCommunities in northern Cameroon surrounding Bouba Ndjida National Park. Photo: Dirck Byler/USFWS

While in Cameroon, reports filled my inbox on the slaughter of as many as 500 elephants in Bouba Ndjida National Park. However, the facts of these reports were disputed. Little detail was available on what interventions, if any, were being made to prevent further poaching.

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I hunted not far from this national park last year and poaching of animals and wood is THE biggest problem in this country. The only way to solve this problem is more legal hunting bringing in dollars to these communities and supporting free trade. Cameroon is a beautiful country with amazing people and outstanding wildlife but I could of bought poached Ivory in every single market that I was in.
# Posted By Kevin | 3/20/12 4:50 PM

Dirck - Reading your post reminds me how tenuous the situation is for so many of the world's charismatic species, and how thankful I am for the work of leaders like
you. Hope you can continue to keep us appraised and connected to this tragic situation, and more importantly how folks can help!
# Posted By Rich Torquemada | 3/20/12 8:25 PM
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