With the support of SOS - Save Our Species, this project - implemented by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - will carry out activities related to the specific issues affecting the gorillas on both sides of the Cross River.
In Cameroon, more than one-third of the gorilla population occurs in unprotected forest and is under threat from hunting and habitat loss. This project will support the expansion of the “Gorilla Guardian” community network, created by WCS to improve gorilla survival prospects in the most vulnerable unprotected forest sites. Gorilla Guardians serve as conservation ambassadors in their communities, and carry out monitoring of gorillas and of illegal activities. The project will provide training and equipment to support the Gorilla Guardian villages and will strengthen the capacity of government forestry officials to collaborate effectively with communities on gorilla conservation and law enforcement outside of protected areas.
In Nigeria, most Cross River Gorillas are in protected areas such as Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and Cross River National Park, but the largest population in the country is found within the Mbe Mountains, which is a community forest. This project will establish the legal framework for community conservation of this area and its gorillas, and will support the development of community institutions and management structures for its operations. Community enforcement and monitoring systems will be improved through the provision of equipment and training of ecoguards and developing law enforcement monitoring systems that can be used by the community association to monitor the impact of its conservation effort.