21 Sep 2022
Assessing the Population and Enhancing the Capacity of Peripheral Communities in the Conservation of Pangolin (Manis spp) in the Kimbi-Fungom National Park, Cameroon
The Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) and Pangolins (Manis spp) in the Kimbi-Fungom National Park are more vulnerable to human activities leading to a massive decline in their populations. While the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee has reduced to a minimum level, pangolins are suffering from the scorched tactics from human exploitation. Strangely, Chimpanzees launched 5 fatal attacks between November 2020 and September 2021 on the peripheral communities propagating a lot of fears and psychological thoughts which have been associated with indigenous beliefs. Globally, it is estimated that over one million pangolins have been poached from the wild in the last 10 years (Challender et al. 2014), making this animal the most trafficked wild mammal in the world. In 2011, it was estimated that between 3,500 and 9,000 Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees survive globally, with the vast majority residing in ‘conservation planning units (Morgan, B.J. et al. 2011). In the park, chimpanzees have resorted to steep rocky landscapes due to uncontrolled expansion of anthropogenic activities. The peripheral communities are strongly involved in hunting due to poverty, lack of information about the conservation status of chimpanzee and pangolins. Moreover, most ecoguards who work in the park live at Kimbi where their office is located thereby leaving 85% of the park without proper patrol. The discovering of fertile soils for cocoa and palm production has led to the influx of many people with high demand for bush meat (Zeh et al., 2019). This project therefore sets out to address these problems through a collaborative management between the government who is the main body and the local population who live and interact with the animals on a daily basis
This project is designed to; Assess the population of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee and pangolin, assess the indigenous knowledge on the fatal human-chimpanzee conflict, organise collaborative meetings between the government and community conservation leaders and carry out education campaigns to reduce conflicts with chimpanzee, Line transects, reccee survey, questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussion are methods that will be used to collect the data.
Results obtained from this project will be very vital to the Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife for Menchum, Donga Mantung and Boyo Divisions. The research will produce a strategic document that will be useful to policy makers of these divisions and the park managers to formulate effective planning and monitoring the status of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee, pangolins and other threatened species and also to protect their habitats.