Mission: Save highly endangered animal species and with scientific and financial support programs to study and preserve in their communities.
Species: Primates of the Ivory coast
Location: Ivory Coast, Africa
Amount donated: £2069.11 to enable the committee members to be trained effectively in managing their forest, to fully conduct an inventory of the forest flora and fauna before official status is granted, and to confirm whether Miss Waldron's colobus still exists.
Background: Certain regions of the Ivory Coast in Africa are reported to be part of the original range of three of the twenty five most endangered primate species in the world: the Diana Roloway, the white-naped mangabey and Miss Waldron's red colobus. Despite their threatened status, no significant effort has been initiated to conserve these species. In 2001, the French conservation organisation CEPA and their German equivalent ZGAP set up a conservation programme in West Africa for these species. The informal structure they set up is called the West African Primates Conservation Action (WAPCA).
Achievements: Between 2004 and 2006, CEPA funded surveys of 14 Ivory Coast forests. A survey of an unprotected forest block called the Ehy forest in south east Ivory Coast allowed the field team to observe Diana Roloways for the first time, observe a few individuals of Geoffroys colobus and obtain serious information that Miss Waldron's colobus may survive in the region; a species which is nearing extinction in the wild!
The results of this study thus identified Ehy as a priority site for primate conservation in the Ivory Coast, however, urgent action is needed as the site is still subject to extensive logging and poaching. Updates on the current distribution and conservation status of these primates and identification of sites for their conservation are also urgently needed.
In September 2006, CEPA initiated a participatory conservation action for Ehy forest by setting up a management committee with representatives from 5 villages close to the forest. Poachers from the region were trained alongside local villagers to become committee members. The role of the committee is to organise surveillance of Ehy forest, sensitise poachers and other villagers about preserving Ehy forest and its wildlife and bring support to any conservation and/or research action to be conducted in Ehy forest. Current funding is sufficient to last until March 2007, however, additional funding is required to enable the committee to run until the end of 2007, by which time it is proposed that the Ehy forest will be granted official status as a community managed forest.