CHINKO|CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Nestled in Eastern Central African Republic (CAR) in a war-torn region plagued by instability and deadly ethnic violence, lies a wildlife refuge called Chinko. Despite decades of civil war, intense poaching, illegal grazing and heavily armed herdsmen, remnant populations of key wildlife species have persisted, and vast swaths of wooded savanna and rainforest have remained intact, making this one of the largest ecosystems with the greatest conservation potential in all of Central Africa.
Over the last four years effective law enforcement has secured this 19,846 km2 landscape, keeping the main threats at bay, and a core zone of 10,500 km2 completely free of cattle. Prior to African Parks signing a 50-year mandate with the government in 2014, hundreds of thousands of cattle flooded the park. Today, they are only found on the boundary, and where cattle once grazed, herds of buffalo, hartebeest and hippos have taken their place.
- African Parks established Chinko’s first law enforcement unit, currently comprising of 58 rangers, who undergone specialised law enforcement training.
- A core protection zone of 10,500 km2 free of threats has been secured by the committed ranger team and wildlife are being seen more frequently.
- Staying ahead of poachers is a vital part of effective law enforcement, and given the vast landscapes the teams at African Parks have to manage, helicopters and other types of aircraft serve as “eyes in the sky” providing the critical, realtime surveillance needed to protect the park adequately. The helicopter also deploy law enforcement teams, or even provide rescue operations in emergency situations, saving human lives.
NAC is a proud supplier of Bell Helicopters and crew to Chinko. The images supplied by the crew tells an amazing and exciting story of the work they do in the Park.