Monday, February 23, 2009

Deng Deng National Park

afrol News, 19 February - Cameroonian government has created a new national park to protect a population of 600 gorillas, and other threatened species such as chimpanzees, forest elephants, buffaloes, and bongo.

The new Deng Deng National Park, approximately 580 square kilometers comes just three months after Cameroon announced the establishment of Takamanda National Park which now forms part of a trans-boundary protected area with Nigeria's Cross River National Park and protects the world's rarest gorilla population.

According Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the creation of the new national park is the result of years of conservation planning, including the first gorilla population surveys in the former forest reserve in 2002 by the society.

President and CEO of the WCS, Dr Steven E. Sanderson said Deng Deng National Park is a major step towards conservation of all Cameroon's gorilla population and wildlife in the country which is facing serious deforestation.

"We applaud the government of Cameroon for continuing to be a leader in conservation and for taking this important step to protect these species," he said.

Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Cameroon Railways and WCS are also collaborating to enforce regulations that will ban transportation of bushmeat or any other wildlife products from remote locations to urban markets by local trains.

"This effort in part has helped Cameroon uphold its obligations as a member nation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)," WCS said.

Cameroon has one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa, losing some 220,000 hectares of forest per year, mostly to logging and agriculture.

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