|Categories||Conflict, Education, Reptiles|
|Date||9 Oct 2020|
Mecistops cataphractus populations continue to experience rapid decline particularly in unprotected areas due to anthropogenic-related threats. The Jimi river in the Obuasi Municipality is among the few unprotected areas that still harbours significant populations of the species. Unfortunately, the population here is threatened by habitat destruction, human-crocodile-conflicts, and hunting.
With our first Rufford grant, we initiated conservation interventions which included population surveys, awareness campaigns, and demonstration crocodile exclusion fences to prevent the species from entering fishponds in three of the fringe communities. We further created a community volunteer group to provide a timely response in case of emergencies such as crocodiles entering human residence or fishponds as well as continuous education of locals. Post project monitoring activities showed an increase in local knowledge, no incident of retaliatory killings by fish farmers as well as improved interest in M. cataphractus conservation in the three communities.
For the second phase of the project, we will extend our survey and conservation interventions to cover the other stretch of the river and four new communities while revisiting areas covered in the first phase of the project. The Ultimate goal of this project is to reduce immediate threats of the species while building long-term conservation legacy in the Municipality.
Read about Akwasi's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/akwasi_anokye or for more information contact: