This area is home to at least 40 species of large
mammal(Diangha,2015) among the species,
the most northern population of western lowland gorillas inhabit this area and
occurs at higher density than in most sites in the East Region of Cameroon
(Ambahe et al. 2011). A population survey conducted around the project area
revealed that more than 300 western
lowland gorillas and 600 chimpanzees live within the National Park (Ambahe et
al. 2011, Stautner and Delaney 2011).
The area also harbors many water dwelling mammals,
hippopotamus and swamp otter which are rare species in Cameroon. In addition to mammals, sixty species of fish
belonging to 16 families and mostly Mormyridae and the Cyprinidae are common in
the Lom and Pangar Rivers (COTCO 2012). The park host three important bird
species namely the African gray parrots, Bates’swaever and Grey- necked rock
fowls. The forest flora is however, dominated by commercially valuable
Triplochiton scleroxylon, which are heavily targeted for exploitation
throughout their range in the east region.
threats in project area
1. Lack of
good governance: The presence of porous government of Cameroon forestry and
wildlife policies in the region have granted permission of hotly contested open
bush meat markets in the region. This has led to the high demand of bush meat
in the area.
influx: The presence of Economic Operators and external development bodies such
as Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO), Electricity Development
Cooperation (EDC), refugees from Central African Republic as well as forestry
exploitation companies have together led to a seasonal influx of people into
the project area.
conversion to farm: This has cause encroachment in the forest and the
conversion of forest into farmlands. More so communities lack knowledge of
improve agricultural techniques so they tend to move to new lands for
cultivation abandoning the old farms (shifting Cultivation).
construction of roads by clearing and opening of large forest tracks and
construction of settlement camps for workers has also led to severe
Un-rational fishing: Fishing is being done seasonally using
unsustainable method with small net sizes that collect even the young fish. The
different methods used are; hooks, bottom set gillnets and basket traps.
exploitation of timber resources both for commercial and local consumption is
also exerting pressure on the area.
and marginalized local economy. This is of very serious concern and the
principal driver behind rampant and rapid forest conversion to farms and
poaching given that locals earn less than 1USD per day. Addressing the drivers
of the suppressed economy and poverty will substantially address the major
threats to conservation in this conservation complex.
All of the above threats exist to some degree in the actual
project sites and threaten to increase fragmentation of the forest blocks
linking DDNP to Belabo Council Forest.
Without providing an urgent solution to protecting the DDNP – Belabo
corridor, endangered species within the NP including over 400 western lowland
gorillas and greater numbers of other IUCN Red list species (chimpanzees,
elephants, etc) may encounter difficulties in migrating southwards to other
protected forests contributing to the occurrence of inbreeding and potentially
leading to increased human – wildlife conflicts.
Furthermore, the cycle of poverty in the villages associated
to the proposed CFRs has led to increased exploitation of forest resources.
Local people harvest wildlife species such as Pangolin, duikers,Red River Hog
and to a smaller extend apes, as a source of protein in their diet and also for
commercial purposes to increase house hold income. Timber species are harvested
for commercial purpose, construction and furniture. Non timber forest products
such as Vocanga Africana are also harvested in an unsustainable fashion.
The goal of the project is to preserve good quality forest habitats between two already existing protected areas (: Deng Deng National Park and Belabo Council Forest) for the maintenance and/or enhancement of suitable conditions for the movement of endangered species and prevent occurrences of inbreeding. Specifically, this project will strengthen the management of the Deng Deng National Park by effectively managing the two community forests created via simple management plans developed in full consultation with the local communities and the local ministries as well as other stakeholders.