Protection of Forest Elephants, Bongos, and Other Critical Wildlife Populations of the Mbam Djerem National Park Landscape, Cameroon

Timeframe: 2021-2023
Country/Region: Cameroon
Partner: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

The Mbam Djerem National Park (MDNP) covers more than 400’000 ha and is the second largest protected area in Cameroon. Its location, transitioning from forest to savannah ecosystems, provides several different habitats to a large number of species including forest elephants, bongo, buffalo, leopards, hippos and others making it the most biologically diverse protected area in Cameroon.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been providing support for the protection and managment of the park since 2003 in cooperation with the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife of the Government of Cameroon. Despite the efforts to secure and protect the park, wildlife poaching and trafficking remain major threats and have been further exacerbated by the construction of new access roads in recent years. Furthermore, the development of large agro-industrial projects is attracting migrant workers to the landscape and increasing the pressure on its wildlife.

The purpose of this project is to strengthen and expand effective law enforcement to regulate human activities and protect wildlife through provision of training, equipment and logistical support for anti-poaching and park management. WCS will also develop and implement targeted environmental education and awareness programs to influence behavioural changes in the local communities. The other actions include monitoring and tracking of forest elephant populations and other key species through ground surveys and aerial surveillance.