Raised awareness of the availability of a research tool that could improve management of biodiversity. Ongoing effort to assist with implementation of monitoring programs.
impact statement issue
The illegal killing of elephants for their ivory is rapidly driving forest elephants to extinction. Similar unsustainable hunting for primates and other wildlife in Central African forests is reducing biodiversity and disrupting ecosystem services. However, there are few unbiased methods of measuring these pressures and therefore little data are available to assess initiatives who's goal is to reduce poaching and illegal hunting. Forest elephants, lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, pangolines, and hornbills are all critically affected by hunting. Proper management of protected areas and concessions requires reliable data for informing decisions.
impact statement response
A protected area in Cameroon with high biodiversity and multiple endangered and endemic species was chosen to provide an example of the kinds of information that acoustic monitoring can provide. After gathering baseline data, recommendations were made to adjust anti-poaching patrols to then measure the effectiveness of these changes. A workshop covering the results of the study, costs, and potential barriers to implementation was held, with protected area managers from across Cameroon and Nigeria invited.
impact statement summary
Acoustic monitoring of hunting activity in national parks and concessions designated for resource extraction provides unbiased information about the intensity of hunting pressure on wildlife that can be used to measure the effectiveness of intervention programs and guide improvements to those programs.