This report details an aerial sample count (supported with supplementary recces and targeted counts) of animals in the Bouba N’djida - Sena Oura - Benoue - Faro Landscape, located in north Cameroon and extending into southwest Chad (reported separately). The survey was conducted April-May 2015. In Cameroon, a total of 4 954 km were flown across 165 transects over a survey area of 20 598 km² (7.4% coverage). Two aircraft (a Cessna 206 and a Cessna 182) were used.
Across the survey area only 7 elephant groups (total of 102 individuals) were observed during the entire survey. This included one group in Bouba N’djida NP and 6 other groups. Only 12 elephants were observed on-transect (with 9 in-strip), this low count did not permit a population estimate. A minimum count of 102 was documented. For Bouba N’djida NP, total observed elephant numbers were just 2% of the 450 observed in 2008, although the 2008 surveys were not based on SRF methods and instead produced a minimum count of wildlife abundance based on 3 and 5 km transect spacing. Therefore, direct comparisons of wildlife counts could not be produced.
Some areas covered in 2008 were not included in this survey due to high elevations and the associated difficulty in maintaining consistent altitude and speed that are required for SRF implementation. The most notable being the southern section of Faro NP, where the elevation increases between 100m and 500m. The likelihood of observing wildlife in these areas was considered to be very low.
The minimum count for elephant carcasses in all age categories both inside and outside the survey strata was 253. This included 27 recent (between 1 month and a year old), 207 old (over a year old) and 19 very old (over 2 years old) carcasses. A total of 83 elephant carcasses were observed on-transect. This included 2 recent carcasses, and 81 old and very old carcasses. Ground missions to elephant kill sites, verified a total of 150 carcasses, which included 38 recent and 112 old carcasses.
Threats to elephant populations in the area include transboundary poaching, gold mining and pastoralism.
Source:Elkan, P., Fotso, R., Hamley, C., Mendiguetti, S., Bour, P., Nguertou Alexandre, V., … Georges Aime, K. (2016). Aerial Surveys of Wildlife and Human Activity Across the Bouba N’djida - Sena Oura - Benoue - Faro Landscape: Northern Cameroon and Southwestern Chad: April - May 2015. Wildlife Conservation Society; Ministry of Forests and Wildlife (MINFOF); L’Ecole de Faune de Garoua.