Habitat: forested savannah
Emblematic animals: lion, Derby eland, girafe, elephant, hippopotamus & Nile crocodile
Bénoué National Park
1932: creation of the Faunal Reserve
1968: upgraded to a National Park
1980: designated Biosphere Reserve
2015: beginning of the collaboration between the conservator Kevin Mbamba Mbamba and Sekakoh
Bénoué National Park acquired its name from the Bénoué River. Main affluent of the Niger River, the Bénoué River is a key water source for the wildlife of the park, despite drying up significantly through the long, hot dry season. The symbolic hippopotamus & Nile crocodile can be easily seen on the banks of the river.
Initially created to protect the black rhinos and giraffes, Bénoué National Park failed in providing a safe haven forthe former. Today, despite the density and diversity of wildlife, the protected area has undergone a dramatic loss of biodiversity.
Human activity within the park is commonplace. While poaching and illegal pastoralism have been the primary threats for decades, more recently, illegal gold mining has become more severe. Entire villages have been built in the heart of the Bénoué National Park to serve these mines.
As the newly appointed Conservator of the protected area, Kevin Mbamba Mbamba took it upon himself to reinstate law within Bénoué. As a result, despite the ever-present corruption, several illegal villages have been burnt to the ground. The authority of the park now has control over a larger area and anti-poaching patrolls are regular. To follow more of the Conservator's day-to-day actions, visit his blog here.
Our objectives in the Bénoué National Park:
- Supporting the conservator and his staff in the protection of the park,
- Providing some material to the staff such as GPS and hypsometer.
- Studying the population dynamics of large herbivores (specifically giraffes) and lion populations,
- Studying the diversity of small cats (e.g. servals, caracals, wild cats).
- Sensitizing the villagers living around the protected area about the importance of the Bénoué National Park,
- Sensitizing the pastoralists to prevent illegal pastoralism.
Sekakoh's goal in collaborating with Kevin Mbamba Mbamba in North-Cameroon is to restore the breadth of diversity and richness of the wildlife of the Biosphere Reserve.