|Town/Region||Boukoumbé , Kouandé, Natitingou, Tanguiéta, TouKountouna|
|Date||5 Sep 2018|
Atacora Mountains is an ecosystem of particular botanical interest for Benin because it harbours three genera that are endemic to the Sudanian floristic region (Vitellaria, Pseudocedrela and Haematostaphis) and two of the few endemic plant of the country (Thunbergia atacorensis and Ipomoea beninensis). This making it a centre of local biodiversity hosting several threatened plants while the entire area still remains without official protection.
Thus, we envisaged installation of vegetation-based conservation areas on Atacora Mountains. Our first works supported by RSGF were a baseline for documenting available potential and how people use it. It showed Atacora Mountains host 489 plant species (17.42% of Benin flora) of which 10 rare, endemic and threatened plant species (RETPs), gravely threatened, are over-collected, over-utilized and over-traded, greatly more reducing their natural regeneration. From ethnobotanical data and field observations, we noticed that, land management practices and climatic events are other factors responsible of their scarcity and loss of their habitats. Presently, where it exist no data on their reproductive potential and how land-use changes and climate changes affect the site, our process is handicapped. We would like complete this information for defining suitable sites that could host conservation areas in order to enter into the installation activities. Specifically, we aim to: map first soil occupancy (areas used for crop cultivation, livestock grazing, and reserved area for transhumance) and spatio-temporal dynamics of vegetation on Atacora Mountains, map mature plants of RETPs for seed collection and germination and regeneration tests, estimate extinction risk of threatened species and infer, document Atacora Mountains history, events related to the mountainous tribal with their life process, prioritize suitable sites to be hosted conservation areas with local communities, teach local communities on sustainable use of RETPs, their domestication, and create and strengthen local governance capacity of sites.
Knowledge of suitable sites is key step for setting vegetation-based conservation areas on Atacora Mountains. Maps of priority sites will be generated and will be scientifically tool proved for the establishment of conservation and management actions. Control of reproductive capacity of RETPs allows restore the selected sites. We want produce 5000 plantlets (500 per RETP). Education sessions about reproductive capacity of these plant species will be enabled to train local people in order to strengthen their capacity in plant resource management. Documentation of history is crucial tool which will incite to the conservation decisions. Most of information will be shared during sessions and through documents.
Read about Jeronime's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/j%C3%A9ronime_marieange_s%C3%A8nami_oua... or for more information contact: