Action for primate conservation in Korup National Park, Cameroon

Orume Robinson Diotoh

Illegal wildlife hunting for bushmeat is a serious threat to Korup National Park, one of Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse rainforests and home to a rich primate community of 14 species. Pressure on the park’s wildlife is expected to remain high, given the dependence of locals on bushmeat for livelihood, the demand for bushmeat in neighbouring Nigeria and the inevitable loss of traditional hunting grounds in the park’s buffer zone to a 70,000 hectares oil palm plantation. For conservation efforts to be effective, the park management must work in synergy with local communities. This is not currently the case. Conflicts between park staff and local communities are increasing, primarily due to inadequate flow of information. Due to this tension, more than half of the park is rarely patrolled any more. This project will work on restoring trust and information sharing between local communities and the park staff through culturally sensitive and realistic school outreach activities and football games. Through this approach, we will increase awareness of locals and acceptance of rangers activities in presently abandoned areas, improve efficiency and coverage of the park’s anti-poaching efforts and directly improving primate conservation.