Kudu Zombo | WWF Cameroon

Kudu Zombo



​Campo- Ma’an National Park (264,000 ha)

Campo- Ma’an/Rio Campo Forest Landscape/Seascape (771,000 ha), spanning Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, aims to integrate conservation needs, indigenous & local livelihood initiatives and presence of strong government commitment and was the result of a 20-year funding from the environmental offset from the Chad-Cameroon pipeline.

WWF is the lead NGO in the area working on marine turtles with nesting sites of four species located on the seascape and Elephants & Gorillas at the landscape level. The region also offers opportunities for sustainable development and livelihoods initiatives with the presence of agro-industrial businesses and ecotourism potential related to the Kribi deep seaport complex and the first lowland gorilla habituation initiative in Cameroon.

Communities

About 111,038 people (64.32% in rural area and 35.68% in urban area) from seven ethnic groups, Pygmies (Bagyeli), Bulu, Batanga, Iyassa, Mvae, Ntumu and Mabea) live in the area along with non-indigenous groups such as  the Bebilis from East Cameroon.

Key species

About 80 species of mammals including forest elephants, leopards, chimpanzees and gorillas (23 threatened), as well as 302 bird species (24 rare), 122 reptile species, 80 amphibians and 250 fish species. 15 vegetation types with 1,500 plant species (114 endemic in the region and 29 in the park).

Gorilla Habitatuation

The focal group ‘Akiba’ with an average nest count of 32 individual nests is one of the largest known groups of western lowland gorillas, the typical average nest site averaging about 7-8 individual nests. Because it is fundamentally essential to follow the focal gorilla group 7 days per week without interruption, it is vital to maintain a functional research and tourism camp in addition to securing expert tracking staff in order to achieve long-term habituation success. 

Indeed, as the team increasingly spends more time around the gorillas and as the gorillas become more habituated to human presence, they also become increasingly exposed and at risk of injury by poachers. Consequently, resources to support the anti-poaching teams operating within and adjacent to the study area (Dipikar Island) are vital to maintain over the long-term.

Within the first year, after the dominant male ‘silverback’ has attained a behavioral level of 50 per cent tolerance/ignorance and the project has been fully funded and staffed, we expect to be able to launch a controlled form of eco-tourism focusing on gorilla tracking. 

Our hope is that this form of ecotourism will help boost  the livelihood of the local communities by providing direct and indirect employment. As the team’s tracking skills continue to improve, we will also begin focusing on a second focal group, in order to meet the predictable future growth and demand of a successful gorilla-viewing programme. During this period and beyond, it ise imperative to ensure complete security of the study area with the increased presence and continuous surveillance of the park conservation staff.    

Monitoring of Forest clearing

Direct and indirect monitoring carried out by installed camera-traps at the edge of the forest clearing in Dipikar Island to estimate diurnal wildlife potential of these sites shows that the park is still viable amidst the threats. The monitoring of the forest clearing with the deployment of three camera traps has revealed several wildlife species including, elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, red river hog, yellow-backed duiker and sitatunga.

Park protection and wildlife crimes follow-up

The MINFOF conservation service is supported technically and financially in the implementation of terrestrial and riverboat monthly patrols by the use of SMART technology.

A network of informants including community members (formal) and forces of law and order (informal) assist the park service in intelligence gathering over the Campo-Ma’an landscape resulting in the arrest and prosecution of wildlife law offenders. With the assistance of a hired legal Counsel, wildlife offences matters in the Kribi High Court are more than 70 per cent complete with deterring sentences recorded.
Baby elephant takes refuge by a WWF car along road to Campo Ma'an National Park 
	© WWF/Kudu Zombbo
Baby elephant takes refuge by a WWF car along road to Campo Ma'an National Park
© WWF/Kudu Zombbo
Gorilla, Lobeke National Park, Cameroon 
	© Marius Sombambo/WWF
Gorilla, Lobeke National Park, Cameroon
© Marius Sombambo/WWF
 
	© Eno Nku/WWF
Gorilla Habituation is also a passion for women
© Eno Nku/WWF
 
	© Urbain Nzitoua/CMNP
Animals that stray from the wild are safely taken back to their habitat by brave Forest Rangers
© Urbain Nzitoua/CMNP