|Posted on March 27, 2017 at 10:30 AM|
A new peer reviewed article was published this month in Oryx on work done in Gola, entitled 'A mix of community-based conservation and protected forests is needed for the survival of the Endangered pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis' by Hillers A. et al.
80.4 % of pygmy hippo signs were recorded outside protected areas. They were mainly along larger streams and swampy areas close to, but rarely within large intact forests. Our study highlights the importance of the unprotected community land for this Endangered species while maintaining a robust network of protected areas. Especially in Sierra Leone, the expansion of the protected area network is unrealistic and we conclude that community-based conservation activities are important for the survival of the pygmy hippopotamus.
At the Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone, the recommendation of this study has already been put in practice since early 2016, with the establishment of our Community Youth Conservation Volunteer Programme focusing on pygmy hippos and the White-necked Picathartes. The pygmy hippo programme is funded by Basel Zoo, Switzerland, that has sponsored all our pygmy hippo work since 2010.