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Illegal logging is spreading to closures of Mozambique, especially in the north and close to the western border, the National Conservation Areas Administration (ANAC) has said.
“Logging takes place in all areas [of conservation] but is worse in the northern and western part of the Niassa Reserve,” Colin Craig, ANAC consultant said.
Craig spoke on Thursday in Maputo during the 7th national meeting of conservation areas.
Information on the amount of logging came up on the sidelines of the national census of elephants in Mozambique, which ended three weeks ago.
The census aimed to provide scientifically reliable information on the population of elephants in Mozambique and wildlife in general, with results expected to be published on February 2019.
ANAC’s data shows that, since 2009, the country has lost at least 10,000 elephants and in the largest protected area, the Niassa Reserve, the number of elephants dropped from 12,000 to 4,400 in three years (between 2011 and 2014).
The lack of human and material resources for the surveillance of the country’s conservation areas is the main obstacle to the preservation of elephants, that are mainly threatened by poachers.
According to the data presented on Thursday, the conservation areas raised 259.3 million meticais (€3.7 million) in the last four years and the government expects to invest $700 million (€615 million) in the conservation areas over the next five years.Source: Lusa