BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SOME CURRENT BPC PROJECT AREAS
The Mbe mountain ranges are located in the Boki Local Government Area of northern Cross River State. It is very rich in faunal/floral diversity, including the 3 largest Nigerian primates: gorilla, chimpanzee and drill, the red headed rock fowl (Picarthetes oreas), high altitude Bitis/Python, and other endangered mammalian species including prosimians. The vegetation type is Guinea-Congolian rainforest and it is relatively undisturbed in most areas. It covers of mostly hilly/rocky terrain with elevations in some areas being up to 920 ASL. The area is contiguous with the Okwangwo division of the Cross River National Park but has not yet been assigned a conservation status. BPC has for the last 6 years maintained intermittent research presence in the area with support from grass-root (landlord) communities.
Oban Group (Ikpan Block):
This area comprises the southern sector of the Cross River National Park. The vegetation is Guinea-Congolian moist forest with closed canopy and scattered emergent trees reading heights of about 40m in some places. The area is reputed as being the richest in terms of biodiversity in the whole of West Africa, with myriad of reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, and insects. It is also reputed as having the greatest diversity of floral species in the region. The Ikpan block area is the forest immediately adjacent and contiguous to the Korup National Park of south western Cameroon. Here the forest is relatively pristine in most areas with many streams. It is within the Ikpan forest block that the team of BPG researchers recently confirmed the continued existence of the critically endangered Preuss’s red colobus monkey. Recently, evidence points at the possible presence of chimpanzees in the Ikpan Block. BPC researchers have also confirmed for the first time in Nigeria, the existence of red headed parrots in Ikpan Block. Other important faunal species include: mangabeys, red-eared guenons, pogonias monkeys, putty nose and mona guenons as well as prosimians of conservation importance. Unfortunately, the area has not enjoyed proper protection and research activities for varied reasons e.g., lack of good access, lack of adequate funds and absence of government institutions. BPC is committed to saving the Ikpan forest and its biodiversity.
Boshi-Boshi extension Forest Portion:
Boshi Forest Extension comprises the northernmost part of the old Boshi-Okwangwo group of forests in the then Eastern Nigeria conservation policy at which at 1991 formed the Okwangwo Division of the Cross River National Park. The area is characterised by mountainous ridges with montane tropical rainforest in the higher areas but intermingled in the southern portion by the more regular southern Nigeria tropical rainforest. Among the primates found in the area are the critically endangered Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) sub-populations. Chimpanzees, drills, Preuss’s guenon, red-eared guenon, prosimians are also found within the area. The Boshi extension forest and the Obudu plateau in general is considered a tourist haven for its semi-temperate conditions and hilly/mountainous high rises with beautiful waterfalls.
A JUVENILE GALAGO SPECIES AT RESCUED AT ITAM MONKEY PROJECT SITE AT ITU LGA, AKWA IBOM STATE
BASED ON THE FOREGOING BPC WILL AMONG OTHER THINGS
- Intensify our community conservation of Cross River gorillas: The BPC research team intend to intensify the on-going assessment of the Cross River gorilla populations and their habitats in the Boshi-Boshi extension portion of the Cross River National Park (CRNP), and Mbe Mountains in Cross River State.
- Assessments of two other important primates’ habitats and populations in Akwa Ibom state which have not been studied before to evaluate potentials for their long term conservation action as well as collect other relevant wildlife information in the respective areas.
- Continue on-going anti bushmeat consumption campaigns and provision of alternatives to bushmeat to rural populations.
- To continue on-going conservation education programmes throughout Nigeria using our Beauty of Nature in Nigeria (BoNN) programme.
- To strive to maintain as much as possible a sustained research presence in the field. This has proven over the years to reduce hunting/poaching intensities in the areas concerned.
- Finally, to join hands with all governmental and non-governmental organisations to pursue a healthy environment and sustainable resources utilization through active conservation action (research, education, policy and participation).