MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants)

 

MIKE Pilot Project, Central Africa

INTERIM REPORT
FIRST PHASE: July - December 1999

 

CONTENTS

1) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

2) INTRODUCTION

2.1) Goals of the Pilot Project
2.2) Objectives of the First Phase of the Pilot Project (June - December 1999)
2.3) Chronology
2.4) Acknowledgements

3) IUCN CONTRACT DELIVERABLES.

3.1) Pilot Site Selection
3.2) Authorisations for Pilot Project.
3.3) Methods, and Analyses
3.4) Reporting Forms and Data Collection Protocols.
3.5) Training Modules for MIKE Implementation.
3.6) Proposal and Budget for Completion of the Pilot Project
3.7) Training 1: Field Survey Methods and Design.

4) REPORT ON TRAINING 1: SURVEY METHODS (Nouabale Ndoki, Congo: September-November 1999)

5) CAPACITY BUILDING AND LESSONS LEARNED.

5.2)Capacity Building
5.2) Lessons Learned and Recommendations.

LIST OF TABLES

TABLE 1. Project Chronology: July - November 1999
TABLE 2. Individuals contributing to the first phase of Pilot Project
TABLE 3. Progress on IUCN Contract Deliverables
TABLE 4. Central African Pilot Project Survey Areas and Description.
TABLE 5. Summary of data to be collected by MIKE field protocols

 

1) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The pilot phase (also termed Pilot Project) for MIKE in Central African was initiated in April 1999. The Pilot Project is co-ordinated by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Funding for the first phase was provided by CITES through IUCN with additional support from WCS, IUCN/Netherlands and CARPE.

The objectives of the first phase of the Pilot Project (June - December 1999) were defined in a contract between IUCN and WCS.

The results of the first phase included the following:

Four pilot survey zones in five countries (Table 4) have been selected and first site visits undertaken for three. Draft protocols have been produced for field surveys, law enforcement monitoring and reporting. These must be reviewed to verify technical completeness and harmonisation with MIKE protocols in other subregions.

As of January 2000, legal status for the Pilot Project has been obtained for Congo. For DR Congo and Gabon, the project has been authorised and project staff designated, by the ministry concerned, but the project does not have official legal standing. CITES authorities, and the ministries concerned remain to be contacted in Cameroon and CAR.

Draft data collection and field protocols have been developed, but remain to be reviewed once an analytical framework and sampling design have been developed.

Draft training modules for the first training session (September to November in Nouabale Ndoki National Park) have been produced. This training dealt with field inventories, survey techniques, survey design and basic statistical analysis. Draft modules will be modified based on training results. Additional modules on Law Enforcement Monitoring, data base maintenance and reporting are in preparation.

A project proposal and budget was completed (dated 24 December) and submitted to USFWS and CITES in January 2000.

An assessment of capacity building initiatives and lessons learned is provided in this report.

2) INTRODUCTION

MIKE was initiated in Central African subregion in late April 1999 by the establishment of a pilot phase (termed also Pilot Project). The Pilot Project was inaugurated at a meeting in Libreville, Gabon, that brought together representatives of CITES, the IUCN African Elephant specialist group, state ministries concerned with elephant management and international conservation NGOs active in the subregion. A steering committee was established and mandated to develop an 18-month pilot project (through December 2000 ). Objectives during the first phase (June - November 1999) included gaining authorisation of the pilot project by the range states, establishment of the pilot project structure, and the preparation of draft training modules and field protocols. These would be undertaken by WCS through a contract with IUCN.

This report provides a summary report of progress that was achieved in the first phase of the Pilot Project. The IUCN contract deliverables will be presented first, followed by an overview of progress on the pilot project to date. Lessons learned and recommendations for the next phase of the pilot project are then presented. Certain deliverables, including the draft training and field protocols and the project proposal and budget have been submitted separately.

2.1) Goals of the Pilot Project
The overall goals of the Central African Pilot Project are:

  • To develop and test methods for monitoring trends in elephant distributions and relative abundance, in Central Africa and in factors affecting them, in particular illegal killing,
  • To build capacity at local and national levels to implement this.
  • To provide first data for selected monitoring sites in the forest area of the subregion.

2.2) Objectives of the First Phase of the Pilot Project (June - November 1999)
The objectives of the first phase of the pilot project were defined in the contract covering the period from July 1999 through November 1999. Production of reports and proposal was undertaken in December 1999.

The objectives were to:

1. Select Pilot Sites in five Central African countries.
2. Acquire official approval for the pilot phase in the countries concerned.
3. Develop a set of field methods and analyses.
4. Produce data collection protocols and field forms.
5. Produce Training modules.
6. Produce a project proposal and budget.
7. Undertake the first training of MIKE field staff.
8. Provide an assessment of capacity building initiatives and document lessons learned during the first phase of the pilot project.

2.3) Chronology
A summary overview of project chronology over the first six months of the Pilot Project is provided in TABLE 1.

2.4) Acknowledgements
Many individuals have made contributions, some substantial, to the first phase of the pilot project. TABLE 2 lists these individuals and summarises their contribution. On behalf of the Central African co-ordinating committee I would like to acknowledge these contributions and express my appreciation for the critiques and suggestions we have received from all quarters. It is clear that collaboration with a wide range of partners will remain important as the pilot project enters its next phase of active fieldwork.

3) IUCN CONTRACT DELIVERABLES.

The IUCN contract with WCS specified eight products to be delivered by the end of November 1999. These are listed in TABLE 3. A summary report for each of these is provided below.

3.1) Pilot Site Selection
Pilot Project activities will be focused on forest areas and take place in five countries, Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, CAR and DRC. The complete monitoring program will be developed in three areas that will be referred to as "survey nodes". The survey nodes contain sites designated by CITES as MIKE sites.

The full scale monitoring program including base map and data base development, survey design, field inventories and analysis will take place in three survey nodes, 1) Central Gabon (Lope / Forêt des Abeilles), 2) Odzala (Odzala National Park and vicinity) and 3) the Ituri Forest (Okapi Reserve and vicinity). An additional survey node, the Northern Congo/Sangha Basin commonly referred to as the Tri-National region of Congo, CAR and Southeast Cameroon is also included in the pilot phase, though the full compliment of project activities will not take place here.

The survey nodes are listed and described in TABLE 4.

The survey nodes include both protected areas (national parks and reserves) and unprotected areas. The survey nodes are representative of the range of environmental and political conditions, human impacts and economic activities that prevail in the primarily forested sectors of the Central African MIKE subregion. Although savanna areas occur in a number of the pilot sites, a primarily savanna site is not included in the Pilot Project sites. Survey methods for savannas differ from those of forest sites. Limited time and funding preclude inclusion of a strictly savanna site during the pilot phase.

The Pilot Project will collaborate with a range of donor and NGO projects to acquire data on elephants and factors affecting them in the pilot areas, and will utilise data from survey sites, even if these are not currently designated MIKE sites.

3.2) Authorisations for Pilot Project.
The pilot project has received official recognition in Republic Congo and Preliminary authorisations for Gabon and DRC. Draft letters have been prepared and submitted to the CITES Office of Management Authority (OMA) by each of the country co-ordinating committee members concerned. An update concerning the status of authorisations and copies of the authorising letters will be provided to CITES secretariat as these come in during the course of the Pilot Project.

3.3) Methods, and Analyses
3.3.1) Survey Design
A survey design will be developed to permit comparable, standardised data to be collected in all survey areas. Survey data will be used to evaluate elephant distribution and abundance in relation to variables, or co-variates that directly affect elephants and are linked to illegal elephant killing. These include:

  1. Human Access
    Roads, Rivers
  2. Human Occupation
    Settlement
  3. Human Impact
    Economy: Forestry, Mining
    Subsistence: Agriculture
  4. Protection
    Protection Effort (Anti-poaching)
    Illegal Activities (Hunting)
    Elephant - Human Conflict
  5. Habitat
  6. Areas of Past Elephant Distribution and Abundance

Surveys will be deployed across gradients of protection effort, human access and human settlement. Surveys will span protected area boundaries and will include both effectively patrolled and non-patrolled areas within protected area boundaries.

3.3.1) Survey Structure
MIKE Surveys will include the following steps:

  1. Preparation of databases and base maps.
  2. Development of a survey design
  3. Field data collection.
  4. Data analysis and reporting.

Site databases. These will be used to guide survey design and sampling effort, and to establish base lines for comparison and interpretation of survey results. Databases will include data on co-variates (above), and survey and monitoring results. Databases will incorporate existing data as well as new information. Data that are spatially explicit will be geo-referenced to the degree possible. Site databases will be updated on an annual basis. Sources and dates of information will be documented.

Base Maps. Standardised base maps are essential to ensure that surveys will have a balanced sampling design and common analytical treatment. Base maps will be produced by linking site databases to a Geographic Information System (GIS) program.

At a minimum pilot phase base maps will include the following features:

  • Protected area boundaries and protection infrastructure, including patrol posts, park headquarters, conservation villages, etc.)
  • Roads and other access.
  • Human settlements.
  • Exploitative zones (mining, forestry, hydrocarbon, and forestry concessions).
  • Major habitat features, including hydrology, topography (if significant), savannas, significant habitats or features for elephants (clearings, baies).
  • Location and results of previous elephant surveys if available.

The design of this database will permit new information to be incorporated, additional GIS coverage to be built, and geographic coverage expanded and modified as new information becomes available. Geo-referenced satellite imagery will be incorporated into coverage for some areas, as available. In all cases, databases will be structured to accommodate importation and updating of imagery-linked information as this becomes available.

Survey Design. The base maps will be used to develop an efficient and statistically and analytically sound sampling plan for field surveys. This process will be assisted by inputs from a Technical Advisory Group (TAG).

Field Surveys. At a minimum, MIKE pilot surveys will produce data from the following sources:

  • Reconnaissance walk (termed recces) and line transect counts of elephant dung and signs of human activities, in particular those linked to illegal killing of elephants.
  • Monitored anti-poaching patrols and surveillance (including intelligence gathering), where these are conducted.
  • Village interviews.

Additional data sources, including principally aerial videography, satellite imagery, etc. will be utilised as available.

Dung counts will provide indices of relative abundance (encounter rates). Dung counts must be calibrated by dung decay studies at each site to permit relative densities to be compared between sites and survey periods. Monitoring of guard patrols will provide information on poaching and measures of anti-poaching and surveillance effort and results. Particular attention will be paid to measuring protection effort to permit evaluation of its relationship to illegal killing of elephants. Village interviews will provide information on elephant presence/absence, elephant conflict with humans and its relationship to illegal killing. Overall, field surveys will attempt to put in place a system that will identify and locate areas of important elephant presence and to monitor these and the factors affecting them over time.

Analysis. Basic analyses, including calculation of standardised encounter rates and calculation and mapping of anti-poaching patrol effort will be produced by MIKE staff. Information will be incorporated into site databases and summarised annually on base maps. Field inventories repeated in time at the same sites will be analysed to determine trends in elephant distributions and numbers, and in illegal activities, especially those directly linked to elephant poaching.

3.4) Reporting Forms and Data Collection Protocols.
Field data and data collection will be structured in the following way:

  1. Hierarchical. MIKE sites cover a range of site specific conditions even within the same region and ecotype (e.g. Central African forests). These differences must be accommodated in data collection protocols at each site. By the same token, however, standardised data collection methods are required if spatial and temporal comparisons are to be made at the sub-regional and regional level as required by MIKE. In order to accommodate these divergent needs we propose a hierarchical approach to data collection. At a basic level, variables will be measured or characterised in ways applicable across all sites and basic to the guiding hypothesis. Higher level characterisations will allow for site specific differentiation or sub-classification of basic variables. In the field forms and explanatory notes that follow we provide information relating to base level classification only. Higher level classification will require site-specific definitions to be provided for each case.


  2. Spatially explicit. Spatial analyses will be important to MIKE. All data with a spatial dimension will be geo-referenced in the field and related to base maps for each site.


  3. Cross-checked. Data relating to parameters required by MIKE analyses will be collected by different methods to the degree possible. This will permit evaluation of any given data collection method in relation to other data sources, and will permit different methods and field protocols to be cross validated and thus related to each other (e.g. data obtained from standardised transects versus data from village interviews, or monitored patrols.).

First drafts of Pilot Project field protocols and data forms have been submitted separately. These will be reviewed and revised, then updated following use in the field. Revised and updated versions of the field forms and protocols will be submitted to the Secretariat as these are produced.

TABLE 5 provides a summary of eight data forms to be used by the Pilot Project and the information each will provide.

3.5) Training Modules for MIKE Implementation.
First drafts of modules have been submitted separately. These will be reviewed and revised. Updated versions of training modules used during the pilot phase will be provided to the Secretariat as these are produced.

Proposed training for the Pilot Project include the following:

  1. Survey Methods and Survey Design
    September - November 1999
  2. Law Enforcement Monitoring
    May 2000
  3. Data Management and GIS
    March - December 2000
  4. Analytical Methods
    October - December 2000

3.6) Proposal and Budget for Completion of the Pilot Project
A proposal and budget, dated 24 December 1999 has been completed and submitted independently to USFWS, IUCN and the Secretariat.

3.7) Training 1: Field Survey Methods and Design.
The first training session (Training 1) included both Field Team Leaders and National Elephant Officers. The course covered basic field and navigation skills, recce-transect ground survey methods for forest inventories, and an introduction to data management and analysis. Training 1 was directed by Dr. Lee White and was held at Nouabalé Ndoki National Park from September 27 - 19 November, 1999.

An evaluation of this training is provided in Section 4 below.

3.8) Analysis of Capacity Building and Lessons Learned.
This report is provided in Section 5 below.

4) REPORT ON TRAINING 1: SURVEY METHODS (Nouabale Ndoki, Congo: September-November 1999)

Introduction
Two levels of training were planned for the MIKE Pilot Project in Central Africa. The first level training which was held in Congo from September - November 1999 and focused on general field techniques, sampling, taking field data, analysis of data, reporting and a general introduction to CITES and the MIKE process.

The second level of training which will be held in May 2000, will deal with data quality control, measuring and recording law enforcement, gathering intelligence information, first level analysis of field and other site data, entering, managing and transferring data, reporting results, and an introduction to second level analysis at the subregional level.

Although the first training deals more with the work that MIKE field team leaders will be doing and the second training is more aimed at the MIKE National Officers, both will participate in both training sessions. Some more advanced components of the second level training, such as second level analysis, will be given only to National Officers.

Organisation
The training was held from the 16th of September until the 17th of November in the Nouabable Ndoki National Park and was hosted by the Nouabale Ndoki Wildlife Conservation Society project.

It was organised by Dr. Lee White as part of a series of annual training sessions to train people involved in conservation in Central Africa to collect scientific information and use it for management and conservation. The MIKE component, level 1 training was incorporated in this broader context.

The costs of the training were covered by WCS with a grant from the MacArthur Foundation and partly also by CITES as a contribution toward the MIKE component.

The original training was modified to accommodate the needs of MIKE and the selection of trainees was based on their future involvement in the Central African MIKE pilot project.

A total of three candidates for MIKE National Officers and 8 MIKE field team leaders from 5 different countries (Congo, DRC, Gabon, Cameroon and Central African Republic) were invited to the training. MIKE National Officers participated in all training modules and received a few extra sessions in statistics and GIS, which were not attended by the field team leaders.

Objectives
The objectives of the MIKE component of the training were:

  1. to introduce future MIKE pilot project members to CITES and the MIKE process
  2. to give trainees the theoretical background for monitoring elephants and other animals in Central African rainforests
  3. to train participants in basic field techniques and field sampling
  4. to analyse field data and present the results in a report
  5. to familiarise future MIKE pilot project members with some of the forms to be filled in for MIKE

Training modules
The training was divided into different modules and consisted of theory and field work.

Formal lectures and more informal work-group discussions were alternated with exercises in the field. One 5 and one 6 day period were spent camping in the forest, conducting recces and transect to collect data on elephants and other mammals.

Most of the training material was based on the training manual edited by Lee White and Ann Edwards. Other training material was taken from different reports and proposed protocols and forms for the MIKE Pilot Phase.

The need for methodological development as part of the MIKE pilot phase was also emphasised.

The following training modules, pertaining to the MIKE project were given:

- CITES and MIKE: an introduction to CITES was given and the context of MIKE explained. Objectives of the programme were highlighted and the MIKE Pilot Project for Central Africa was presented, including its objectives, its hierarchical structure and place in the global MIKE programme, its calendar of activities, selection criteria for MIKE sites, survey design and MIKE protocols.
- A general introduction was given on how to set research priorities and designing research programmes. Each participant had to read a publication, interpret and present it. 2/3rds of the publications were related to elephant research and monitoring.
- Navigation, maps. Trainees were given a theoretical background in navigation, maps, map projections, use of compass, triangulation and basic trigonometry for estimating height and distance. This was complemented with field work on the use of compasses, topofil and GPS. A whole day was spent on making a map of an area around the camp. Two orienteering courses, one with compass and one with GPS were also organised.
- Basic statistics, sampling design. Four days were spent on lectures and practical work on (mostly descriptive) statistics and sampling design (random, stratified sampling etc.). Monitoring illegal killing and relative abundance of elephants were highlighted and several options on how to design a monitoring programme for elephants and illegal killing in Central Africa were presented and discussed.
- A basic course in the use of computers, word processing and spreadsheets was given at different levels. Three laptops were permanently available for practice between and after training sessions.
- Basic field techniques were taught on how to observe, taking notes, reading animal and human sign, describing habitat and vegetation, collecting plant samples, taking information from dead animals etc.
- Line transect distance sampling was covered extensively mainly through exercises with real data. An experimental sampling exercise was done with a known density of rice grains along a transect. Five days were spent on practising cutting transects and sampling around the camp. Data were subsequently analysed using the programme Lopes which is a succinct version of the programme Distance.
- Reconnaissance walks were also practised and data analysis of recce data versus transect data explained.
- Two periods, one of five days and one of six days were spent camping in the forest, practising reconnaissance walks and transects. A method was being tested where long reconnaissance walks (1 km) were compared with short transects (200 m).This is the method proposed for elephant surveys for the MIKE pilot phase in forest.
- A general introduction to Geographic Information Systems and how it could be used for the MIKE Central African Pilot project was given to a selected group of trainees with a higher educational background. This included the two candidates for MIKE National officers in Gabon and DRC.
- The last week of the training was spent on further analysis of the data and report writing.
- The MIKE field forms on elephant surveys were presented at the training sessions.
- A short course of about two days was given on first aid, emergency (wilderness) medicine and how to stay healthy in the forest.

Performance of the MIKE trainees
Potential candidates for National MIKE Officers for Gabon, DRC and the republic of Congo participated in the training. Candidates for Gabon and DRC performed very well but the candidate for Congo was weak and lacked some of the basic technical skills necessary for this position, such as working with computers, basic knowledge of data handling and analysis, essential notions of statistics etc.
Given additional training in data handling and analysis and technical follow-up, the prospects for the Gabonese and DRC candidates are very promising.

National MIKE officers participated in all the theoretical and practical modules (including the field trips). They were exposed to real field conditions and were trained in all field techniques.
Except for the Congo candidate, they also received extra training in statistics and sampling design and were introduced to the use of Geographic Information Systems for handling and analysing data.

Candidates for MIKE Field Team Leaders for the Pilot Project of the following countries attended the training:

- Gabon: 1 (Minkebe)
- Cameroon: 1 (Boumba Bek)
- Central African Republic: 2 (Dzangha Sangha)
- Congo: 2 (Odzala) + 1 (Conkouati)
- DRC: 1 (Ituri)

The candidates from Dzangha Sangha were very motivated but lacked the necessary educational background to act reliably as Field Team Leaders from a technical point of view. Stronger candidates or continued technical assistance should be sought for this site.
The candidates for the other sites performed satisfactorily (some performed very well) and are expected to be apt for their position given some extra training (level 2 training) and technical follow-up and assistance.

Lessons learned and recommendations
It is essential that people who take data in the field are also involved in the analysis of the data, at least to the degree of their level of comprehension.

With distance sampling techniques, a good understanding of the basic concepts is essential since it has important implications for taking measurements in the field. For example, people who do not understand the reasoning behind the methods are less likely to cut good transects, detect animal sign and measure perpendicular distances accurately.

Extensive practice in the field is essential. Accuracy and efficiency in data collection improved markedly during the course of the field work. A total of about 16 days was spent in the field taking data on line transects and recces.

It is estimated that at least three to six more months of field data collection will be necessary before a good level of confidence, efficiency and accuracy is reached (Lee White, pers. comments). The development of these skills should be considered as part of the capacity building exercise during the pilot phase.

National MIKE officers should go through practical field experience in order to understand the reality of the field and how this can effect the quality of the data. Having this experience will also help them to develop a realistic and efficient sampling plan.

Instructions as to how and where to collect data in the field have to be clear. Maps should be given in advance to field team leaders with the placement of sampling units drawn on them.

The actual implementation of the sampling and instructions in the field may depend on factors such as the availability of potable water for camping, weather, sickness, impassable areas etc. It is not possible to include all these factors in the sampling plan. Field team leaders will be challenged to make decisions on the spot. Therefore they should have a good understanding of the proposed sampling design and methods so that they can make the proper decisions that are consistent with the methodology.

5. CAPACITY BUILDING AND LESSONS LEARNED.

Capacity Building
The Report on Training 1 provides an evaluation of existing capacity and lessons learned regarding field inventories. Many of these points have broader implications as well. In general existing technical capacity for MIKE is low in the subregion. Most MIKE staff need major training on a regular basis, and they must be actively integrated into the MIKE agenda. Technical support is needed-in particular access to laptops and computer training. Financial support for key national staff is critical, since many are not adequately paid, and the monitoring program makes significant demands on time and effort. It would be useful to facilitate communication among MIKE officers across Africa so that these individuals really do appreciate that they contribute to a global initiative. The Pilot Poject has also identified a need to train at higher levels, in particular it would be useful to train steering committee members and CITES OMA staff in information management and ways to enhance their engagement with the Secretariat.

 

5.2) Lessons Learned and Recommendations.
At this stage in the pilot process we can offer several preliminary assessments of the development of MIKE and make some recommendations for the remainder of the pilot phase, and beyond, into the full expansion phase of MIKE.

Validity of the Pilot Process. The Pilot process has been a very effective way to initiate MIKE in Central Africa, and although conditions clearly vary elsewhere, we would recommend that pilot phases be considered in launching MIKE in other regions and subregions as well.

It is important that pilot phases happen as close to the same time as possible so that lessons can be learnt from more than one sub-region. Having activities in just one sub-region may distort the conclusions of what is required for the whole of MIKE. These lessons include many aspects such as sampling, review of data collection protocols, databases and other aspects of data management, analytical procedures, training manual, technical advisory committee etc.

Collaboration and partnerships. MIKE can not achieve its objectives in Central Africa without collaboration with a range of partners, including government, NGO and private sector. Partnerships have provided essential resources and logistical support to the Pilot Project that could not otherwise be afforded otherwise. We recommend that for the pilot phase, this collaboration be documented though contractual agreements when possible, both to promote the sustainability of the program, and to serve as a basis for generating further funding.

Partnerships nevertheless have necessitated accommodations on the part of the Pilot Project. The Pilot Project must offer information and training in support of collaborating partners' management and conservation programs. In addition the development of the monitoring program itself has accommodated partner needs and opportunities, including those of collaborating government ministries. We believe that these have strengthened MIKE and enhanced its impact overall, but they must be co-ordinated with the CITES objectives for the monitoring program. Issues of information ownership and control of the program will certainly arise.

Co-ordination of the Pilot Project with CITES. Although a definitive co-ordination may not be possible at the current time, it is essential that some form of interim co-ordination be assumed at CITES, both to efficiently direct the pilot projects, and insure that the lessons learned are integrated into the evolving MIKE program. We recommend an ad hoc working group of pilot co-ordinators, along with selected expertise and CITES representation with a mandate to evaluate ongoing MIKE programs, including the pilots and provide guidance for full expansion. An interim co-ordinator with final authority for decisions must be considered.

Technical Advisory Group Technical input and scientific oversight are essential if MIKE is to be sustainable and credible. We recommend the establishment of a Technical Advisory Group under the CITES Scientific Authority. At the start the Committee will probably need to be pro-active is defining exactly what the technical issues are and so will require individuals who are aware of MIKE's needs and the technical constraints. The deliberations of TAG should be published (e.g. on the web, or in working papers) so that transparency is ensured.

Evaluation of the Pilot Project is also essential. This process should be separated to some extent from the TAG process in order to ensure that the individuals who advised the Pilot Project are not the same evaluating it. We recommend that mechanisms for technical consultation be identified and that the process for the review of pilot surveys be initiated as soon as possible. The elephant specialist groups clearly represent significant expertise, though given the scope and technical needs of MIKE the specialist groups alone are unlikely to meet all of MIKE's needs.

Subregional data analysis and data bases. We recommend that data analysis and data management be conducted at a subregional level. Subregional data bases should be linked with already existing elephant data bases, and should be integrated with other data bases in the subregion where elephant conservation and management issues have been identified. This will improve the efficiency of analysis and provide CITES with product it specifically needs. Results of the subregional analysis should then be incorporated into a global elephant database to permit global analysis.

Communication. The Pilot Project has encountered its greatest difficulties due to insufficient or inadequate communication. These are in part technical (telephone and email are not available or are very expensive in many areas in Central Africa). In part they are due to the evolving and rapidly changing requirements for information by Pilot Project partners, including the Secretariat. In particular, it has been difficult to maintain good communication with MIKE national offices (who often do not readily answer letters) and with many of the field staff who often operate in areas without communication. The communication problem also affects transfer of funds. An assessment of how these problems will be resolved is needed.

TABLE 1. Central African Pilot Project, First Phase Timetable (July - December 1999).

Month

IUCN Contract

Pilot project

July 1999

Pilot site selections proposed

First steering committee meeting

 

National CITES / OMA reps contacted

Plan Training 1

   

Establish Pilot Project base in Libreville

   

Produce T of R for Pilot Project

     
     

August 1999

Pilot site selections revised

CARPE grant received (coordination)

 

Methods, field protocols proposed

IUCN / Dutch Grant received (Training 1)

 

Draft proposal and budget produced,

 
 

Draft proposal and budget revised

 
     
     

September

Methods, field protocols revised

First candidates for field staff reviewed

 

Second revision budget

 
 

Pilot sites finalized

 
 

Training 1 initiated (Nouable Ndoki)

 
     

October

Methods, field protocols further revised

Site visit Odzala, contract with ECOFAC

 

OMA authorization, Congo Republic

Inititate Cyber tracker

     

November

Training 1 completed

Recruit CAR, Chad country coordinators

 

Final draft methods field protocols

 
 

Training modules produced

 
     

December

Final proposal produced

 
     



TABLE 2. Contributors to the Central African Pilot Project (July - December 1999)

Individual

Function and Institution

Contribution

M. Agnagna

Director National Parks and Hunting, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Congo

Coordinating Committee, Congo Republic

C. Aveling

Director, ECOFAC

Logistical and administrative support for MIKE coordination

R. Beyers

Technical Assistant, Pilot Project, Wildlife Conservation Society

Pilot Project technical coordination

H Dublin

Coordinator, African Elephant Specialist Group

Review and evaluation

J.M. Froment

Chef de Composante ECOFAC / Congo, Odzala N.P.,

Field protocols and cyber tracker

S. Luhunu

Technical Director, Congolese National Parks Institute (ICCN), Kinshasa DR Congo

Coordinating Committee, DR Congo

C. Magin

Consultant

Preparation data collection forms and protocols

E. Mamfoumbi

Director of Wildlife and Hunting, Ministry of Environment, Gabon

Coordinating Committee, Gabon

P. McGowan

Consultant

Preparation final protocols and training modules

K. Smith

Consultant

Preparation data collection forms and protocols

L. White

Conservation Biologist, Wildlife Conservation Society

Lead Training 1



TABLE 3. FINAL REPORT ON IUCN CONTRACT DELIVERABLES: DECEMBER 1999

Contract Deliverable

Status by December 1999

Follow-up

1) Selection and description of pilot sites

4 survey zones in 5 countries

Complete site visits.
Obtain contracts with on site NGO partners for MIKE surveys

2) Authorization of national CITES/OMA officials

Legal status obtained for Congo (December 1999), Preliminary authorizations for DRC and Gabon obtained

Complete contact visits for Cameroon and CAR. obtain formal authorizations for all countries

3) Description of agreed methods and analysis

Methods proposed for field data collection; and reporting

Peer review and revision as necessary. Definition of CITES analytical framework required

4) Reporting forms and data collection protocols

Field data collection forms and site database protocols produced. Preliminary survey design proposed

Peer review and revision as necessary. Survey design to be developed in relation to analytical framework.

5) Training modules for MIKE implementation

Modules produced to train basic field skills and use of field forms and data collection protocols.

Peer review and revision, as necessary.
Augment and amplify modules for MIKE Training 2 (Law Enforcement Monitoring)

6) Proposal and budget for completion of Pilot Project

Proposal and budget completed
Provisionally acceptance of pilot phase budget by USFWS.

Compete detailed scheduling and budget allocations. Seek additional funds.

7) Conduct first training session

MIKE Training 1 for field team leaders and national elephant officers completed (Sept - Nov.), at Nouabale Ndoki NP, Congo

Undertake gap analysis and prepare follow up MIKE Training 2.

8) Analysis of capacity building and lessons learned

Preliminary evaluation and lessons learned provided in this report.

Modify pilot program based on evaluation results.

TABLE 4. Central African Pilot Project Survey Areas and Description.



Survey
Node

MIKE Sites Included

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Description

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Site Name

Area
(km2)

Country

Forest

Savanna

Inter-national Boundary

Access

Accessibility

Protected
Area

Human Exploitation

Human
Presence

Partners

Human
Resources

                 

Lope /
Forêt Abeilles

Lope

5,400

Gabon

Mixed,
Monodominant
Marantaceae

Mosaic

none

Road,
Railway

Good

Faunal
Reserve

Forestry

Low

ECOFAC
CIRMF
WCS
DFC
Megatransect

Moderate

                           

Odzala Region

Odzala

13,000

Congo

Mixed
Marantaceae
Swamp

Mosaic,
Clearings

present

Road

Water

Poor

National
Park

None

Low

ECOFAC
Mega-transect

Good

                           

Ituri Forest

Okapi

13,500

RD Congo

Mixed
Monodominant

Inselberg

none

Road

Moderate

Faunal
Reserve

Mining, Subsistence

Moderate

WCS, ICCN

Good

                           

N. Congo/
Sangha Basin

Nouabale Ndoki

3930

Congo

Mixed
Marantaceae
Swamp

Clearings

present

Road

Water

Poor

National
Park

Forestry

Low

WCS
Mega-transect

Moderate

 

Dzanga Sangha

3292

CAR

Mixed,
Monodominant
Marantaceae

Clearings

present

Road

Water

Good

National
Park

Forestry

Moderate

WWF

Moderate

 

Lobeke & Boumba Bek

1500

Cameroon

Mixed,
Monodominant
Marantaceae

Clearings

present

Road

Good

Reserves

Forestry

Moderate

WWF
MINEF

Moderate

 

TABLE 5. Summary of data to be collected by MIKE field protocols.

Information to be Collected


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Field Protocols and Data Collection Forms


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Category



Data



Transect



Recce


Aerial sample


Aerial total



Carcass


Monitoring of Patrols

Monitoring
Intelligence
Gathering


Village Interviews

Elephant Distribution & Abundance

Presence / Abundance

X

X

X

X

 

X

   
 

Live elephants

   

X

X

 

X

   
 

Dung counts

X

X

     

X

 

X

 

Other elephant sign

X

X

     

X

   
                   

Habitat

Habitat types

X

X

     

X

   
                   

Illegal elephant killing

Carcasses finds

X

X

X

X

X

X

   
 

Secondary indicators

X

X

     

X

   
 

Killing reports

           

X

X

                   

Human Presence & Activities

Settlement

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

Access

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

Human Encounters

X

X

     

X

   
 

Human sign

X

X

X

X

 

X

   
                   

Anti-poaching Effort & Results

Anti-poaching effort

         

X

X

 
 

Poaching indicators

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Anti-poaching results

         

X

X

 
                   

Elephant Impact on Humans

Crop raiding

             

X