ERuDeF Vision for the Conservation of Biodiversity in the Proposed Ekom-Nkam Waterfall Sanctuary

The Cameroon highlands are one of the most diverse in Central Africa region. The country is characterized by high diversity of fauna and flora. The Nlonako-Muanenguba Mountains landscape hosts the fifth and fourth highest summits respectively of Cameroon. This mountain chain is known for its unique flora and fauna and has provided a fertile environment for speciation and endemism acting as ancient Quaternary refugia for forest communities. The high level of endemism of this eco-region is not only demonstrated among the amphibians and reptiles but also with birds and plants.

The proposed complex, apart from its rich amphibian biodiversity, is endowed with a high level of endemic birds and plants species as reported by Herrmann et al, 2004). According toIUCN Global Amphibian Red List Assessment of 2004, 1,856 species of amphibians are globally threatened, making amphibians the most threatened compared to mammals and birds. Cameroon is among the richest biodiversity hotspots and the Cameroon Volcanic Line is one of Africa’s most important biodiversity hotspots documented by Myers, 1990. Cameroon is host to at least 200 amphibian species (Amiet, 2005). Fifty-seven of these species are endemic to the country (predominantly found in highlands) while 63 species are threatened with extinction (IUCN, 2012).

The rich biodiversity of Mt Mount Nlonako extent to the Ekom-Nkam Waterfall Amphibians Sanctuary, which makes it the most species rich single locality amphibian fauna in Africa as documented by Rodel and Agyei, 2003.  In 2005, Herrman et al recorded 93 amphibian species on this mountain which consisted of 32% of the 236 amphibian species recorded in Cameroon. ERuDeF conducted preliminary studies which revealed the area to be a power house of chimpanzees, to it achievement of goal of reserving 30% of it national territory as natural forest but will safeguard

In view with the international conventions signed and ratified by the government of Cameroon, the creation and management of Ekom-Nkam protected area will protect and conserve vital ecosystem hosting IUCN threatened species. These species encompass African forest elephant, Pan troglodytes, preuss’s and drill monkeys.

The value and the ecosystem services provided by the area cannot be overstated. The protection of wildlife species and it habitat cannot be the sole responsibility of the government of Cameroon, in this light. ERuDeF is seeking funds to work in close collaboration with the Cameroon government. We will tackle the main objective to create and manage the proposed Ekom-Nkam Waterfall Amphibian Sanctuary. The vision at this landscape is committed to save rainforest, conserve species and impact lives of the local communities around the proposed protected area.