Biodiversity of Omo Forest
The forests of Southwest Nigeria are potentially repositories of substantial biodiversity. Some of the last remaining forest elephants in West Africa are found in these forests, along with chimpanzees and other endangered primates. However, these forests have been largely neglected by local and international conservation efforts and are under significant threat from logging and hunting. The NC Zoo has partnered with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to conduct biodiversity surveys of these forests, particularly the Omo and Oluwa forest reserves. The goal of the surveys is to determine what biodiversity remains in the forests and develop a plan for future management. The NC Zoo has helped to design the survey methods, developed a computer mapping system to be used in the field, and trained NCF field staff in research techniques. Initial surveys suggest that there are large areas of intact forest remaining in this area and that the region’s wildlife is still hanging on. Future conservation in this area will focus on establishing new protected areas to conserve these important forests.
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