Reconnaissance surveys were made of the forests of four central African countries to establish, for the first time, the status of forest-dwelling elephants. The results, when combined with information from previous surveys in other countries, provide a picture of the elephant situation in the forest zone, and especially the impact of poaching. About one-third of the forest elephant population of central Africa is to be found in Zaire, and about one-third in Gabon. The rest are in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo. It is poaching for ivory, rather than the growth of human populations, which threatens the elephants of the equatorial forests.