Conservationists Working Together
Government officials, national and international NGOs, and academic researchers have banded together in an effort to save the endangered Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee.
According to Conversation International, this International Union for Conservation of Nature(TM)-backed conservation plan is the first endorsed by the governments from these nations.
“Both our governments recognize the great importance of biodiversity conservation in safeguarding our natural heritage, and we have therefore been closely involved in the development of this conservation action plan,” said Republic of Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Prof. Elvis Ngolle Ngolle.
A collection of zoos, universities and NGO’s have agreed on a priority list of sites and conservation actions urgently needed to secure the remaining wild populations. “The action plans set out the priority sites and actions that need to be instigated if we are to stem the decline in this chimpanzee,” said Bethan Morgan, Ph.D., head of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research’s Central Africa Program and lead author of the action plan.
In addition to identifying priority actions specific to each site, the plan considers region-wide actions, such as improving transboundary collaboration and law enforcement, a need for additional conservation research, participation and support of local people, additional recruitment and training of rangers and improving community livelihoods. All these are solutions for saving endangered animals, plants and spaces.
“By highlighting chimpanzees as ‘flagship’ species, we will be protecting much of the remaining biodiversity in these areas,” said Federal Republic of Nigeria Minister of Environment John Odey.
“This action plan is the culmination of years of hard work and will hopefully bring attention to this little-known subspecies of chimpanzee, which is restricted to the Guinean Forests of West Africa, one of the richest and most endangered places on Earth,” said Dr. Russell A. Mittermeier, chairman of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group and President of Conservation International, which helped to fund the action plan.