|Town/Region||The Mt. Nlonako Wildlife Reserve|
|Date||24 Sep 2019|
My 1st Booster Grant (2018) aimed at surveying for new populations of the endangered Louisea balssi, led to the discovery of Louisea nkongsamba sp.n. from specimens reported at northern, eastern, and southern slopes of Mt. Nlonako (300–1200 m asl). Recognition of this new species was supported by morphological and molecular data. Each of Mt. Nlonako’s slopes has a high conservation priority because of the uniquely high species richness and high numbers of endemic species (amphibians, chameleons, fish, primates, mammals, monkeys, birds, and turtles) many of which have already been assessed in a threatened category. For example, biotic surveys of Mt. Nlonako by Herrmann et al. (2005a,b) reported endangered (EN) species of amphibians (Conraua goliath, Hyperolius dintelmanni), reptiles, (Arthroleptis nlonakoensis), and plants (Begonia pelargoniiflora).
My own preliminary surveys of freshwater crabs and aquatic habitats of Mt. Nlonako reported the following threats to wetlands, forests, and fauna: (1).-Habitat destruction, fragmentation and encroachment by logging on the eastern and southern and northern (western) slopes; (2)-Subsistence hunting for local food consumption of many different groups of animals including freshwater crabs and threatened amphibians. (3)-The frequent use of agro-chemicals by the extensive coffee farms of the area that drains into the aquatic systems and poison fishes. The above threats underline the urgent need for more research aimed at implementing conservation interventions/actions to save threatened endemic species of Louisea nkongsamba sp.n. from extinction that will have benefit to the whole ecosystem.
In the proposed project, conservation data for L. nkongsamba sp.n. will be collected on its population levels and trends, distribution, habitat preferences, and threats. MtDNA loci (COI, 12SrRNA, 16SrRNA) will be used to investigate historical connectivity among populations, to implement the future management of genetic diversity (activity that will be conducted at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany). At the end, the risk of extinction of the freshwater crab L. nkongsamba sp.n. will be assessed using IUCN Red List protocols. The proposed conservation interventions/actions also included the education of the local community aiming at building awareness of the benefits of preserving and managing their aquatic and forest resources to ensure the long-term success of conservation actions.
Read about Pierre's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/pierre_armand_mvogondongo_1 or for more information contact: