Gestion de la faune dans les concessions forestières d'Afrique centrale: vers une approche pragmatique des recensements

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Since the 1992 Rio Convention, sustainable forest management has become a major issue in the Congo Basin. This is reflected in reforms of forest legislations in most of the countries in the sub-region, which give greater consideration to biodiversity. Animal species are particularly concerned since management plans for timber concessions must now include a component about wildlife. Forest certification, which is steadily gaining ground in the subregion, is another tool for promoting sustainability in forest management, including for wildlife. To achieve this, all the systems currently applied in forest certification processes require operators to meet specific wildlife management demands. However, knowledge of the status of animal populations is a prerequisite in drawing up fauna management rules. This is why the last few years have seen an increase in the number of surveys of large and mediumsized mammals in production forests subject to management plans. This article offers a critical review of the counting methods used up to now for forest management planning. It brings out the many disadvantages of current practices, and questions their relevance to the ultimate purpose of monitoring and managing potential wildlife resources in timber forests.

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