Assessing Lobéké National Park as an Area of Importance for African Bat Conservation

24 May 2023 Lobéké National Park, Cameroon, Africa Bats | Forests | Habitats | Mammals Conflict

Aicha Gomeh-Djame

Lobéké National Park (LNP), southeastern Cameroon, is part of Sangha Trinational, transboundary UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its Congolian lowland forests are of particular interest since they are part of a biome which is classified as 'globally outstanding' for biological distinctiveness. This large variably ‘intact’ landscape has the potential for long-term biodiversity conservation and is home to the highest mammalian richness of any forest ecoregion in Africa.

Aicha proud of the first bat of the night.

Aicha proud of the first bat of the night.

However, the area is facing increasing environmental threats, including forest degradation, agricultural expansion and hunting. Despite Cameroon being an African hotspot for bat diversity, much of LNP remains faunistically unknown and no bat surveys have been undertaken. This study will help determine if LNP is an area of importance for Africa bat conservation (AICOM), especially forest-dependent species. It will provide data for ChiroVox, GBatNet and GBIF and build awareness and capacity in LNP rangers.

Header: Aicha removing a bat from the net. © Takouo Jean Michel.

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