Can loggers be conservationists?

11 May 2012

Last year researchers took the first ever publicly-released video of an African golden cat (Profelis aurata) in a Gabon rainforest. This beautiful, but elusive, feline was filmed sitting docilely for the camera and chasing a bat. The least-known of Africa's wild cat species, the African golden cat has been difficult to study because it makes its home deep in the Congo rainforest. However, researchers didn't capture the cat on video in an untrammeled, pristine forest, but in a well-managed logging concession by Precious Woods Inc., where conservationists' cameras also photographed gorillas, elephants, leopards, and duikers.

"At the particular area I had my cameras set up, logging had taken place just two years previously, and active logging was going on just a few kilometers away," Laila Bahaa-el-din, University of Kwazulu Natal graduate student, told at the time, adding that her findings "indicated that logging alone should not mean the depletion of wildlife."