Preserving Benin's Threatened Tree Species and Improving their Conservation Status in the Context of Climate Change: The Case of Pterocarpus erinaceus Poir

Donald Romaric Yehouenou Tessi

Other projects

8 May 2019

Tree Nurseries and Beekeeping: An Alternative for the Rehabilitation of Degraded Forests and Sustainable Rural Development in the Niaouli Natural Forest Region

Pterocarpus erinaceus (the African rosewood, commonly known as Kosso) is a multipurpose endemic tree species of the guineo-sudanian and sudano-sahelian zones, which is integrated into the socio-economic and cultural livelihood of populations, especially in Benin rural areas. But since the species is registered on the IUCN Red List as an endangered species, there is no real scientific and technical information at disposal to help orient its forestry and conservation in Benin. So, this project would like to contribute to strengthen the conservation strategies of the species through species distribution modelling tools and tree planting approach, in order to ensure its sustainability in the ecosystems of Benin.

In recent years, significant advances have been made in the statistical tools and techniques used to generate species distribution models in response to the environmental changes, that are the most important ecological models used to evaluate effect of climate change on species distribution patterns, identify new habitats, and predicts their potential rearrangement in order to protect endangered species. These predictions are useful to complement current and future conservation plans. This project aims to implement long-term conservation strategies for the species, both in situ and ex situ, in this generalized context of environmental changes, through the use of species distribution modelling tools and planting activities. In light of the above, this project intends to specifically: (a) conduct habitat suitability modelling to identify optimal habitats for the species in Benin and highlight important sites for its conservation next to its current range; (b) establish the nursery of the species for planting activities in suitable areas; (c) educate local communities and stakeholders about the species and its habitats conservation.

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