African leopard sighting raises hopes for his or her conservation in southern Cameroon


Africa’s leopards, like this one in Botswana, are more and more underneath menace. Credit: Shutterstock

In latest years, ecologists have been capable of verify the existence of species beforehand considered misplaced from former elements of their vary.

For instance, in 2020, lowland gorillas were confirmed to persist in central mainland Equatorial Guinea by University of the West of England researchers. This 12 months, Babirusa, a southeast Asian wild pig species, were documented for the primary time in 26 years on Buru Island, Indonesia.

In article ad

Collecting this proof is feasible as a result of rising use of remotely triggered cameras, generally often called digicam traps. Camera traps are triggered by movement and take photographs of an animal that passes in entrance of the digicam’s detection zone.

By deploying cameras in wildlife habitat, we will collect priceless details about the animals that reside there and what number of could also be left. This is very essential in areas topic to intense human strain, which has more and more left species underneath menace.

In 2019, our analysis crew deployed 19 digicam traps in southern Cameroon in Central Africa. A sighting of an adult leopard was captured by one in all our digicam traps within the Campo-Ma’an space. This was the primary sighting of a leopard in 20 years.

Photos confirmed just one particular person, however its presence supplied actual proof that leopards nonetheless happen on this conservation space. This would make leopards the apex predator on this space.

The leopard has the widest vary of any massive cat species in Africa, and may persist in a spread of habitat sorts together with savanna and rainforest environments. Population estimates usually are not identified, although numbers in Africa are considered declining. A 2016 study estimated that the African leopard’s vary has diminished to 67%.

There is little details about leopard populations in Central Africa however in sub-Saharan Africa as an entire, prey loss inside protected areas in addition to habitat loss and illegal hunting are anticipated to have performed an essential position in leopard declines in this region.

Although the Congo Basin was beforehand considered a stronghold for leopards, they’re now believed to be absent in lots of elements of this area, so our latest sighting of a leopard in Campo-Ma’an reveals the significance of conservation efforts to guard leopard habitat and their prey.

In gentle of accelerating habitat loss and fragmentation within the area, additional analysis in our examine space is urgently wanted.


The area is a part of the Congo Basin which, in addition to Cameroon, spans elements of Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Gabon.

The Congo Basin is a biodiversity hotspot that’s residence to hundreds of species and is the second largest tropical rainforest on the planet after the Amazon. This forest system can be residence to a number of endangered species, together with the western lowland gorilla, forest elephant, chimpanzee, mandrill and big pangolin.

Campo-Ma’an National Park is a 2,680 sq. km protected space in southern Cameroon. Campo-Ma’an was thought to have one of many final remaining leopard populations within the area. But after many years of looking and forest loss, there had been no indeniable proof that leopards have been nonetheless there.

An sudden discover

In 2019, one in all our camera traps photographed a leopard, as an sudden byproduct of a examine on the ecology of endangered forest elephants in Campo-Ma’an.

Cameras have been deployed in areas thought for use by elephants so we have been shocked to see an grownup leopard in one of many photographs.

Knowing that leopards nonetheless exist in Campo-Ma’an helped us safe analysis funds to increase our digicam trapping efforts within the space in 2022. Working with local communities and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in Cameroon will assist us gather knowledge to higher perceive what leopards want to have the ability to reside on this space and importantly, forestall human-leopard battle.

Our crew will perform an intensive camera entice survey all through the Campo-Ma’an conservation area to collect extra details about leopard habitat use there. This will assist us get a greater concept of what number of leopards there are, and in flip, encourage methods to guard the species.

This is urgently wanted as human disturbance and encroachment is a serious menace to wildlife within the space. Campo-Ma’an National Park is surrounded by greater than 100 human settlements, in addition to palm oil plantations and logging concessions.

Our findings have been priceless in confirming the presence of leopards within the space however a terrific deal extra work must be executed. Our work will type the idea of a long-term wildlife monitoring program within the area which we hope will contribute to conservation efforts in Campo-Ma’an, for leopards in addition to the various different endangered species that reside there.

Researchers confirm the presence of the African leopard in southwestern Cameroon

Provided by
The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation underneath a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.The Conversation

African leopard sighting raises hopes for his or her conservation in southern Cameroon (2021, September 16)
retrieved 16 September 2021

This doc is topic to copyright. Apart from any truthful dealing for the aim of personal examine or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is supplied for data functions solely.

Source link

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here