Updated: Feb 7
8 December, 2021
Waterbirds such as this African Wattled Lapwing are particularly vulnerable to human impacts and benefit greatly from protected areas. Photo by Nico Arcilla.
IBCP participated at the International Congress on Conservation Biology on December 17th, 2021, through our sponsorship of a symposium on wildlife conservation status, protected areas, and community conservation approaches in Ghana, West Africa.
West Africa’s rain forests form part of a global priority "biodiversity hotspot," but most do not have effective protection, and wildlife populations today face unprecedented threats from poaching, logging, and habitat destruction. Such activities have already led to steep population declines and extirpations, and many surviving wildlife populations occur predominantly or exclusively in protected areas with active ranger patrols.
Leopard in Mole National Park, Ghana. Camera trap photo by Samuel Awini.
The symposium included the following speakers and topics:
Nico Arcilla: Bird declines in response to logging and hunting in tropical forests in West Africa
Edward Debrah Wiafe: The future of Upper Guinean Forest Reserves to conserve biodiversity
Sandra Goded: Abundance, distribution, and breeding ecology of critically endangered vultures in Mole National Park, Ghana
Andrew Agyare: Balancing local livelihoods and conservation of biodiversity: The Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) model in Ghana
Blackcap Illadopsis in an Upper Guinean Forest Reserve in Ghana. Photo by Nico Arcilla.
Speakers at this symposium presented investigations of conservation effectiveness by comparing bird and mammal populations and communities both in and outside state protected areas, as well as in community conservation areas. Numerous studies show that bird and mammal species richness and abundance are considerably higher inside protected areas compared with other areas.
Speakers presented both established and novel conservation strategies, including active conservation and community engagement, to provide recommendations for future directions in the conservation of West African biodiversity.