White Oak Conservation Center Inc

White Oak Conservation Center, Inc helps conserve some of the earth's rarest wild animals through innovative training, research, education, community outreach and field programs that contribute to the survival of wildlife in nature.
Sep 24, 2012

Anti-Poaching Vigilence Leads to Crisis for OCP

Supplies in Front of Burned ICCN Headquarters
Supplies in Front of Burned ICCN Headquarters

The Okapi Conservation Project is not immune to the global pressures of an increased demand for ivory, gold and bushmeat.  Three months ago armed rebels attacked the ICCN headquarters in the village of Epulu, killing rangers, and looting and burning ICCN and OCP buildings, and terrorizing residents.  Many people fled the town and have been unable to return to their gardens and homes while the area remains unsecured.

 
This attack on the ranger station and the OCP compound was a direct retaliation for recent anti-poaching efforts by the ICCN guards in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.  The Okapi Conservation Project continues to support the ICCN rangers in their front line struggle to protect the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.  We are presently assisting those families in Epulu most affected by this tragic event, with food and medical needs, and we also continue to support other communities around the Reserve with agro-forestry education, among our other community programs.


We will have more information on the unfolding situation from our Project Leaders next month.  We are grateful for the tremendous support that has poured in from around the world over these past many weeks.   For up-to-date information on the Okapi Conservation Project, please visit our website at http://www.okapiconservation.org/.

New Backpacks for Guards
New Backpacks for Guards
Supplies Handed Out to Pygmies in Epulu
Supplies Handed Out to Pygmies in Epulu

Links:

Sep 24, 2012

Despite Crisis ICCN Continues to Control Illegal Settlement and Intrusion into Forest Zone

Supplies for Pygmies
Supplies for Pygmies

The Okapi Conservation Project is not immune to the global pressures of an increased demand for ivory, gold and bushmeat.  Three months ago armed rebels attacked the ICCN headquarters in the village of Epulu, killing rangers, and looting and burning ICCN and OCP buildings, and terrorizing residents.  Many people fled the town and have been unable to return to their gardens and homes while the area remains unsecured.


This attack on the ranger station and the OCP compound was a direct retaliation for recent anti-poaching efforts by the ICCN guards in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.  The Okapi Conservation Project continues to support the ICCN rangers in their front line struggle to protect the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.  We are presently assisting those families in Epulu most affected by this tragic event, with food and medical needs, and we also continue to support other communities around the Reserve with agro-forestry education, among our other community programs.  ICCN also continues to control illegal settlement and intrusion into forest zone by farmers inside the Reserve. 


We will have more information on the unfolding situation from our Project Leaders next month.  We are grateful for the tremendous support that has poured in from around the world over these past many weeks.   For up-to-date information on the Okapi Conservation Project, please visit our website at http://www.okapiconservation.org/.

Supplies Handed out at Burned ICCN Headquarters
Supplies Handed out at Burned ICCN Headquarters
New Backpacks for Guards
New Backpacks for Guards

Links:

Mar 6, 2012

Aerial Survey 2012

Arabia Falls
Arabia Falls

How do you monitor the health of a rainforest?  One of our methods is to conduct regular aerial surveys.  Unlike the savannahs in Africa, where you can fly over and actually count elephants and other wildlife from the air, this level of detail is impossible in the dense forests.  Yet aerial surveys are still important and can reveal a lot.  The indicators include poaching camps, mining camps, and areas where agricultural encroachment into the Okapi Wildlife Reserve is increasing. 

To conduct the aerial surveys we work with partners at MAF who maintain excellent small planes with very skilled bush pilots.  Flight transects are performed over a 3-5 day period (depending on weather) in different sectors of the vast Okapi Wildlife Reserve (13,760 km2).  Observers in the plane look for any evidence of illegal activities and of course enjoy the incredible diversity of tree and plant life in the landscape of the Ituri Forest.

Details from the surveys are provided to the rangers of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve who then deploy to the areas of illegal activities in the forest to detain the perpetrators.  This process has worked very well in the past to stop illegal poaching and mining activities inside the Reserve.  The aerial presence also helps deter poachers and miners who realize their activities will be seen from the air.  The surveys are another important tool in our work to conserve the forest and protect the okapi, elephants and other wildlife.

buffalo in forest clearing
buffalo in forest clearing
healthy forest
healthy forest
poacher camp smoke
poacher camp smoke
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