Ecology and conservation of the critically endangered Dombeya ledermannii in Nigeria
Dombeya ledermannii is a rare plant species found only in Nigeria (the Jos-Plateau and Mambilla-Plateau) and Cameroon (the Bamenda Highlands) yet its ecology is poorly known. It is critically endangered due to habitat loss and overexploitation for bast fibre and thus requires urgent conservation intervention. To investigate the ecology (scientific and local knowledge) of the plant for appropriate and long-term conservation strategy, we will investigate (1) the distribution and population of D. ledermannii in Nigeria using Geographic Information System (GIS) (2) the phenology and animal interaction (insects and avian) with D. ledermannii using focal observation in Amurum Forest Reserve (AFR, Jos-Plateau) and Ngel Nyaki Forest Reserve (NNFR, Mambilla-Plateau) (2) Human utilization of D. ledermannii using semi-structured questionnaire in communities around AFR and NNFR. To address the threats facing D. ledermanni and ensure its conservation, we will conduct awareness campaigns on the importance of, and the threats facing D. ledermannii in communities around AFR and NNFR and establish D. ledermannii nursery in both sites. Overall, we aim to provide information on the ecology of D. ledermannii needed for its future conservation strategy while ensuring its immediate and long-term conservation via awareness-raising and the propagation of D. ledermannii in collaboration with stakeholders.