There have been reports of Sudanese poachers north of the area of the Dzanga Clearing. Reports coming in are mostly second and third hand and resemble the information that we received during the dry season in 2010 when there is movement of different groups in the northern part of the Central African Republic. In years past the dry season was the time when banditry escalated on the roads, especially in the northern savannah but for two consecutive years there have been additional reports of Sudanese caravans which consist of horsemen and camels making there way south where there are still healthy populations of elephant.
The last report was a couple of days ago when there was a purported confrontation between the Sudanese and Central African military. Deaths were reported but getting credible information is difficult especially specific details about the exact location of these groups.
Besides this alarming situation and the possible threat to this area which is one of the last strongholds of elephants in the Central African Republic our daily observations have shown elevated numbers of elephants and other species of forest mammals. For the past couple of days there have been well over 100 elephants a day with the appearance of elephant individuals we haven’t seen in months. Family group members have been coming together in the clearing in happy reunions with lots of vocalizations and tactile encounters.
The other news is that bongo have been consistently been in the clearing for the last two weeks with groups varying from 18 to well over 40 individuals. Yesterday there were four adult males in the group which confirms that this must be a mating season. During the last two years we have been observing elevated numbers of bongo in the clearing and they stay in the area with weeks of their presence in the bai.