In the Malian Gourma, which includes the regions of Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao, elephants are increasingly rare. Threatened by drought and poaching, there were 550 in the 1970s, and are now more than 354. If they cannot fight against the drought that killed in June twenty-one elephants, residents of northern Mali have decided to organize vigilance brigades to protect their last elephants from poachers who covet the ivory of their tusks, but also meat.
Reputed to be the largest in Africa and the only nomadic elephants in the world, some have been equipped with GPS. “To protect them from poachers and follow them, we could put around the neck of some elephants a GPS modem. So, permanently, we know their position,” explains Biramou Sissoko, Colonel Waters and forests, and national coordinator of the project conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and Gourma elephants.
“We take our precautions. In this reserve, elephants are no longer victims of poaching since we organized vigilance brigades. But it is never enough prudent, “said Chief Warrant Officer of Waters and forests Bakary Kamé.
Although that Mali is now toughen its anti-poaching law, the authorities provide training to locals and a function” of biodiversity facilitator “was created. “Our role is to educate, raise awareness about the dangers of poaching and the disintegration of the environment,” said one of the organizers, Amadou Bore. A biodiversity conservation project in Gourma has also been implemented to protect the living environment of animals.