The park now forms part of an important trans-boundary protected area with Nigeria’s Cross River National Park, safeguarding an estimated 115 gorillas—a third of the Cross River gorilla population—along with other rare species. Trans-boundary protected areas allow species to roam freely between countries.
The creation of Takamanda National Park represents many years of work led by WCS and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in Cameroon, including: baseline surveys of gorillas and other large mammals; meetings and agreements with local communities; the formulation of recommendations for upgrading the reserve to park status; and the establishment of trans-boundary activities with the Okwangwo Division of Cross River National Park in Nigeria.
Primary support for the creation of Takamanda National Park comes from a funding partnership between the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and the German Development Bank (Kreditanstalt fûr Wiederaufbau Bankengruppe) as part of a 5-year funding program to protect key conservation areas in collaboration with local communities in southwest Cameroon. The initiative was also supported by the World Wildlife Fund, the German Development Service (DED) and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
“The Government of Cameroon is to be commended for taking this step in saving the Cross River gorilla for future generations,” said Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, President and CEO of WCS. “By forming this national park, Cameroon sends a powerful message about the importance of conservation.”
“This represents a huge step in ensuring a future for the world’s rarest great ape,” said Dr. James Deutsch, Director of WCS-Africa. “Making this former forest reserve a national park will effectively protect these gorillas and will continue the conservation partnership between Cameroon and Nigeria.”
In addition to protecting Cross River gorillas, the 676-square-kilometer (261-square-mile) Takamanda National Park will safeguard populations of forest elephants, chimpanzees, and drills—another rare primate and a close relative of the better-known mandrill.
The Cross River gorilla is the rarest of the four gorilla subspecies. Other subspecies include: western lowland gorillas, eastern lowland or “Grauer’s” gorillas, restricted to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and mountain gorillas, made famous by Dian Fossey and George Schaller. Earlier this year, WCS scientists discovered more than 125,000 western lowland gorillas in the northern Republic of Congo. WCS is the only conservation group working to safeguard the four subspecies, all of which are classified as “critically endangered” or “endangered” by the IUCN Red List.
Habitat destruction and hunting represent the biggest threats to Cross River gorillas. Gorillas are occasionally targeted by hunters of bushmeat in the region, and genetic analysis of the population reveals a reduction in numbers over the last 200 years that is most likely due to hunting. The fragmentation of their forest habitat is caused by farming, road-building, and the burning of forests by pastoralists.
Cameroon is one of seven African nations supported by the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) and the Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE). The U.S. government acting through the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested more than $60 million in biodiversity conservation in the Congo Basin. Together, this support has augmented funds for great apes conservation in the region through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administered Great Apes Conservation Fund. Since 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has invested more than $13 million for the conservation of gorillas, chimpanzees, and other great apes and has leveraged more than $17 million in private donations and matching funds. The Great Apes Conservation Fund Act, which authorizes this fund, expires in 2010. WCS will continue to educate the U.S. Congress about the need for increased support for great ape conservation in the upcoming months.
WCS has had a long history in Cameroon which began with WCS scientists being appointed technical advisors at the Korup National Park in 1988. In partnership with the Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and CAMRAIL (the Cameroon Railways), WCS continues to play a critical role in enforcing regulations that ban transportation of bushmeat or any other wildlife products from remote locations to urban markets by local trains. This effort in part has helped Cameroon uphold its obligations as a member nation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
WCS’s conservation work in Central Africa was funded in part from admission fees to the Bronx Zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit. Since the exhibit’s opening in 1999, it has raised more than $8.5 million for conservation in this region.
Stephen Sautner | Newswise Science News
Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research