Mount Cameroon National Park – Finding solutions to curb Human Elephant Conflict



Posted on 09 August 2023
Training of community members in setting up camera traps
Training of community members in setting up camera traps
© Thomas Breuer/WWF
Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) has been on the rise for several years now in and around      Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP), in South-West Cameroon.     The conflict, however, became too rampant in 2021 and 2022, particularly in the West Coast and Bomboko Clusters, as these forest elephants (Loxodonta cylcotis) were seen almost on a weekly basis in the heart of communities around the   MCNP. This posed a very serious threat not only to humans but also to elephant life, as people started to think about retaliatory killings.

Despite several management measures taken by the Programme for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources for the South West Region (PSMNR-SWR), a Development programme of the Republic of Cameroon, co-financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through KFW, the elephants have continued to visit the community agricultural farms. On the request of the Regional Delegate of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) for the South West Region, a Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) management strategy, based on the Safe Systems Approach, has been developed, pending validation and implementation. In the meantime, WWF Cameroon, together with MINFOF and PSMNR, is systematically sharing developments on the HEC situation in the Mount Cameroon National Park area with the Park managers and the WWF Network and also holding discussions with relevant local resource persons.

As a follow up to these discussions, Dr. Thomas Breuer, Senior Program Officer in charge of Central & West Africa at WWF Germany and WWF’s African Forest Elephant Coordinator, made a brief but in-depth field visit to Mt Cameroon in June 2023. The very tight trip schedule consisted of: community meetings, field work and training of community members in  setting up camera traps, elephant monitoring and data collection analysis, and feedback to stakeholders amongst others.

“The aim of our visit is to better understand the issues underlying the HEC in and around Mount Cameroon National Park Area. And also to examine the extent to which the lava flows of 1982 and 1999 have affected substantial habitat loss for elephant” says Dr. Thomas Breuer
Training of community members in setting up camera traps
Training of community members in setting up camera traps
© Thomas Breuer/WWF Enlarge
Setting Camera traps on Mt Cameroon National Park
Setting Camera traps on Mt Cameroon National Park
© Thomas Breuer/WWF Enlarge
Camera trap images MCNP
Camera trap images MCNP
© Thomas Breuer/WWF Enlarge