Elephants & Guns



Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is clearly one of the best methods to measure the intensity of illegal hunting in protected areas. Although in many areas hunting pressure is frighteningly high, actual gunshots are still relatively rare, making most other methods unsuitable. PAM allows for continuous monitoring over long periods and avoids all of the potential biases associated with human-based data collection.

Spatial patterns of elephants (left) and gunshots (right) in a protected area in Cameroon. Shading represents an interpolation of the frequency of shots or elephant rumbles detected at each of the recording locations (black dots). The western boundary of the study area is the border with Nigeria and the hunting data suggest that many of the poachers are coming in from Nigera – taking the harvest of bushmeat out into Nigeria. Elephants, on the other hand, while relatively rare (the population was poached severely several decades ago), tend to be concentrated on the eastern side of the park. The northern ‘hot spot’ is around an old village where there are abundant fruit trees and wild manioc. The southern hot spot is close to a place where elephants cross the river to raid in the plantations of people living in Mundemba,

——- under development ——

  • real-time technology
  • NNNP grid?

Explore how we eavesdrop on forest elephants


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