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24 August 2016

Understanding Population Status of Gorilla and Chimpanzees in Newly Created Tofala and Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife sanctuary in South-West Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 451

Understanding Population Status of Gorilla and Chimpanzees in Newly Created Tofala and Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife sanctuary in South-West Cameroon

The Lebialem Highland Conservation Complex in the South West of Cameroon is a biodiversity hotspot in Africa.  It is host to a number of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) endangered (EN) and critically endangered (CR) species, including the Cross River Gorilla, the Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee, and lots of other IUCN red listed mammals, amphibians, birds and trees species. In a strive to protect these species ERuDeF facilitated the creation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and are currently processing the creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary which hosts the dwindling African elephants.

In order to document the state of the protected wildlife species in these sanctuaries there is the great need for constant monitoring and data collection as they are continuously  being threatened with anthropogenic activities. The Biodiversity and Conservation Research Group of the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies, with more than 5 years of experience in wildlife monitoring in these sanctuaries, are limited in reporting the accurate state of the animals in these areas due to lack of sufficient monitoring equipment. With just 8 camera traps and no camping equipment, the protected species cannot be effectively monitored in over 61,750 acres of protected area.

With one camera trap per 20 acres of protected area, proper camping equipment and accessories to support the monitoring team in the field, accurate data would be collected to better understand the population trend and the well-being of the protected species. The data collected would serve both locally and internationally as a reliable tool and contribute to the understanding of global population trend of wildlife. The ERuDeF Institute appeals for financial support from individuals and organisations around the world with the passion to protect nature and conserve biodiversity.

There exist 20 poorly constructed camp-sheds in the protected areas. With US$800 a moderate camp-shed can be constructed with wood and US$500 would buy 1 camera traps for each 20 acre. Ten field tents and 10 GPS units are essential needs for data collection and camping with unit costs of US$500 and US$700 respectively. Ten laptop computers at unit cost of US$700 are essential data entry tools for the biomonitors.

With a support of US$1,564,350, the monitoring potential of the team would be upgraded and accurate data would be collected on real time situation of the protected species which will foster conservation activities for the next 6 years.  Publishing the data collected on the actual state of the protected wildlife species in these Sanctuaries will attract volunteers and tourist all over the world. Thus, more people will visit these protected area thereby promoting the ecotourism industry in Cameroon and the economic situation of the local communities around these protected areas who will benefit through trading with the visitors.

More about our activities can be found on www.erudef.org www.erudefinstitute.org and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . With so many years of experience in wildlife monitoring, any support to this team will be contributing to the protection of the world’s critically endangered species, thus, reducing the risk of extinction.