Restoring the Bossou‐Nimba Corridor for the Conservation of Chimpanzee Population

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Dr. Soumah Aly Gaspard, Moriba Francois Kolie, Laville Koivogui, Vassy Haba

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The Mount Nimba Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is considered a Biodiversity Hotspot and is home to unique and rich flora and fauna. Among them, are the Western Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus), that were listed Critically Endangered by IUCN in 2016. In Eastern Guinea, the most critical and fastest decline was observed in Bossou. The “Institute de Recherche Environnementale de Bossou” (IREB) attributes this alarming decline mainly to the increase forest fragmentation, which isolated the forested area of Bossou from the larger forested habitat of the nearby Nimba mountains. Moreover, continued degradation of the forest constitutes a threat to natural resources of the area, which currently serve not less than 100,000 people in over 20 communities. This project, with the technical support of the United States Forest Service (USFS), focuses on developing an integrated conservation strategy for managing the Bossou forest reserve, targeting the survival of the Western chimpanzees, through ecological restoration‐based solutions, community led wildfire management, and also prioritizing the improvement of local communities’ livelihoods. A primary pilot was established in the highly degraded Bossou‐Nimba corridor, which, if successfully restored, has the potential to revitalize the western chimpanzee population, and to serve as a model for community wildlife and forest management for other areas of West Africa. The pilot aimed at improving native nursery and outplanting practices, and activities were planned to directly respond to the current ecological, social and economic needs. To date, more than 15,000 native species were planted and monitored in the corridor, involving 3 communities neighboring the corridor. Practices and knowledge were disseminated by local practitioners to increase restoration efforts within the corridor and achieve harmony between ecosystems and communities through restoration‐based solutions.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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