Is it Possible to Save Congo’s Parrots?

Coming down in a forest clearing
African Grey Parrots descend to the ground at the Aikongo forest clearing, northwest of the Lomami Park.

I returned to TL2 in April of this year to spend 3.5 months visiting important parrot sites around the park. My aim was to develop methods to monitor parrot numbers at these sites, as well as to investigate parrot trapping. I wish to thank World Parrot Trust for financial backing and Lukuru’s TL2 project for logistical support and follow-up. And, of course, thanks for all the great discussions along the way – to John and Terese Hart, Rowan Martin and my team-mates. Below, I give some observations and preliminary conclusions. Andrew Bernard

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Justice or Vengeance in the Heart of Africa?

Case from TL2: the disappearance of Bernard Botumba.

Michel blamed in disappearance of Bernard
Park guard Michel is blamed for the disappearance of Bernard.

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Fighting Arson with Fire-Power along the Lomami

chefiaine Mchacha_dec10
The chief of the bangengele doing outreach for the park before we put in bridges. Her house, too, went up in flames. See below.

Arsonists burned three of our base camps in just over a year.

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Ebola Empties Villages, Bushmeat Empties Forests.

Bushmeat observations in the forest3
Just dead-Still warm.

Ebola is a disease, Bushmeat is commerce, but both remain uncontrolled for similar reasons: absence – on the ground – of adequate trained, committed individuals. Why the unwillingness to marshal and train human experts – on the ground – to bring the plagues under control?

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