Roloway Monkey Returns to Ghana
On Wednesday, May 29th, Fergus, a seven-year-old male roloway monkey arrived at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre located in the Accra Zoo in Achimota Forest. Fergus is only the second known roloway monkey living under human care in an African country. There is currently only one other roloway monkey under human care in all of Africa, a female by the name of Sweet Pee who also lives at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre. Fergus will join Sweet Pea in the hopes of producing more of these Critically Endangered monkeys for potential reintroduction into their natural habitat in Ghana. The Critically Endangered Roloway Monkey (Cercopithecus diana roloway) is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates. The Roloway Monkey, once a relatively common species, is now nearly extinct with only a few small populations left in the wild in western Ghana and eastern Cote d'Ivorie.
school children learn visit Ankasa National Park and learn about the
In early April, over three dozen rural school children from the communities surrounding the rainforests in Western Ghana travelled to Anksasa National Park to learn about their natural heritage. Despite the fact that these children live right on the fringes of the rainforest, many of them have never been inside the forest itself. The children were taken on an extensive hike through the rainforest which included follwing WAPCA’s interpretive trail, crossing small streams and learning about the plants and animals they encountered on the way.
members continue to confront illegal activity in the Kwabre Forest
Members of the twelve rural communities surrounding the community-owned Kwabre Rainforest, the last known habitat of the Critically Endangered Roloway Monkey in Ghana, continue to confront illegal activity in their forest. Recently a group of community members working with WAPCA’s Field Projects Coordinator, David Osei, apprehended several illegal chainsaw operators and halted their illegal lumbering and charcoal operation in the Kwabre Rainforest. WAPCA is currently seeking funding to assist the communities in their struggle against illegal destruction of their rainforest with the hope of creating Community Forest Protection Teams in all twelve villages surrounding the Kwabre Forest.
school children learn how the rainforests help their communities
Throughout the months of March and April, rural schoolchilren from communities surrounding the rainforests in Western Ghana participated in education programs designed to teach them about the importance of the rainforest in terms of crops and food security within their communities. These children will grow up to be tomorrow’s decision makers and it is vital that they understand the ecological services the rainforest provides for the community in terms of rain for crops, medicines and other non-timber products.
recent birth of female White-naped Mangabey at the Endangered Primate
On February 18th 2013, a White-naped Mangabey named “Accra” gave birth to a healthy female baby at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre in Accra, Ghana. The new baby has been named Chaachele. Chaachele is the second female born at the centre in the past six months. Previously only male babies had been produced by the White-naped Mangabeys living at the primate centre. Accra, Chaachele’s mom, was born in Barcelona Zoo in 2005 and lived with her family group until she was transferred to the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre in December 2011. Shortly after her arrival in Ghana, Accra was introduced to a small troupe at the centre and within five months she was pregnant with her first offspring.
Zookeepers help with upgrading of the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre
Abbie Dalglish and Jennifer Fagan two zookeepers from the Dublin Zoo spent four weeks at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre in Accra Ghana helping to upgrade the enclosures for the primates. The keepers worked alongside WAPCA and Wildlife Division staff and were joined by Maddie Mcdonald, a student from Trent University in Canada. Together the team scraped and painted all the enclosures and created lots of new enrichment items for the primates including puzzle bottles, ropes, ladders and swings.
plans for Community-managed Trans-border Forest Reserve
Following the stakeholders meeting in the town of Half-Assini in March 2012 numerous informal meetings and planning sessions aimed at determining an effective strategy for the development of a community-managed rainforest and a trans-border rainforest reserve have been conducted over the course of the year in rural communities surrounding the Kwabre Rainforest. Approximately 800 community members participated in meetings and planning sessions. A collective decision was taken by the community members to investigate the possibility of forming a CREMA (Community Resource Management Area) that could also incorporate the traditional sustainable natural resource management practices of their chieftaincy system.
Patrol Training & Halting Illegal Activities in the Cape
Three-Points Nature Reserve
In November 2012, WAPCA assisted the Cape Three Points Working Group and the Ghana Forestry Commission with the training of Community Monitoring Teams whose main responsibility will be to address illegal activities in the Cape Three Points Forest Reserve. In all approximately two hundred community members were trained by David Osei and Cletus Balanta, the park manager of the Ankasa Conservation Area. At the beginning of December, shortly after the training, David Osei and several members of the Community Patrol Teams discovered a large illegal gold-mining operation in the reserve. The issue was reported to the Forestry Service Division and the District Assembly of the area for further action.
primate documentaries screened in rural communities
Documentaries on primates and environmental degradation were screened in eight communities surrounding primary rainforests in the Western Region of Ghana. Questions generated from these screenings were then used for open forum discussions during which all community members were invited to share their views on the various topics. The village chiefs contributed immensely to these discussions in terms of reminding the community of their ancestral heritage and the need to preserve the rainforest for future generations as well as the need for ensuring sustainable harvest of rainforest products.
|October 2012||New WAPCA
Conservation and Public Awareness Officer
WAPCA’s newest employee, Chaachele Esther Faalong, joined us in September 2012. Chaachele holds a BSc. in Environment & Natural Resource Management from the Presbyterian University Collage of Ghana and is WAPCA’s new Conservation and Public Awareness Officer. Chaachele has a strong interest in sustainable biodiversity conservation. Her main responsibilities include; assisting with environmental enrichment, nutrition and behavioural observations at the Endangered Primate Centre as well as developing fundraising and public awareness strategies with a strong focus on utilizing social media to deliver WAPCA’s rainforest conservation message to Ghanaian citizens. Welcome Chaachele!
female White-naped Mangabey born at the Endangered Primate Breeding
The first female White-naped Mangabey, Afua-Maria was born at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre on Friday the 26th of October 2012. More than half a dozen male White-naped Mangabeys have been produced at the centre, but this is the Primate Centre’s first female. It is customary in the Akan culture of Ghana to name children after the day of the week they were born. In the Akan language of Twi, one of the most widely spoken languages in Ghana, “Afua”, means “Born on Friday”.
|September 2012||Sixth anniversary for David Osei
David Osei has just passed his sixth anniversary of working for WAPCA. David holds a BSc. in Zoology from the University of Ghana and began his career with WAPCA as our Administrative Assistant, based in Accra, Ghana. In February 2012, David was promoted to Field Projects Coordinator and was transferred to Ghana’s Western Region to develop projects to protect the last remaining endangered primates in Ghana both in government protected areas and in rural community-owned rainforests. David is now designing and implementing innovative community-based conservation programs aimed educating rural communities about the value of the rainforest and empowering them to sustainably the rainforests within the context of their current chieftaincy system.
|August 2012||Visit from Barcelona social psychologist Clàudia Turró Ortega
Clàudia Turró Ortega a social psychologist from Barcelona, Spain who has been working with Dr. Sònia Sànchez on the participatory action research component of the White-naped Mangabey Conservation Project, travelled to Ghana to complete the next phase of the project. Clàudia spent several weeks travelling with WAPCA’s Field Projects Coordinator, David Osei to a number of the villages surrounding Ankasa Conservation Area to speak with community members about ways in which the White-naped Mangabey Conservation Project can assist them to develop more sustainable utilization of the remaining community-owned rainforest areas on the border of the national park.
|August 2012||Rainforest conservation open-forum meetings with community members
Open forum meetings regarding rainforest conservation in the rural communities surrounding the rainforest take place on a regular basis throughout the year, but the month of August was specially dedicated to educating the adults and decision makers in the communities about issues such as develop sustainable rainforest management practices and identification and elimination of illegal activities such as mining, logging and bush meat hunting on community owned lands.
|July 2012||Save the rainforest drama contest enacted by rural school children
During the month of July rural school children throughout the Western Region of Ghana participated in a WAPCA sponsored Rainforest Drama Contest. Children from primary and junior high schools wrote scripts for the dramas and then performed for their parents and peers. This year’s drama theme was aimed at teaching the community about chieftaincy and governmental laws which prohibit non-sustainable harvesting of forest products including illegal logging, mining and bushmeat hunting. At the end of the month, a contest was held and winning teams received books for their school library as well as conservation posters, bags and T-shirts.
|July 2012||Community members help halt illegal lumbering in the community forest
The village chiefs from the twelve communities surrounding the Kwabre Rainforest have requested help from WAPCA to address illegal activities occurring in their communal rainforests. It is customary in these villages for community members to seek the permission of the chief of the village prior to utilizing rainforest products, thus people engaging in illegal activities are generally from outside the community. WAPCA is working in collaboration with the Wildlife Division of the Ghana Forestry Commission (WD) to assist the communities and help identify and halt illegal activities on communal lands. Recently several illegal chainsaw operators were apprehended in the Kwabre Forest and their chainsaws and lumber confiscated. WAPCA is currently fundraising to help the communities form dedicated community forest protection teams who will address illegal activity in the community rainforest.
|June 2012||Conservation Quiz Competitions in rural communities
During the month of June, rural school children throughout the Western Region of Ghana participated in a WAPCA sponsored Conservation Quiz Competition aimed at teaching children from primary through junior high school about how the rainforest contributes to the health of the communities as well as the environment. At the end of the month, a contest was held and winning teams received books for their school library as well as conservation posters, bags and T-shirts.
|May 2012||Barcelona Student Víctor Carbajal Perelló assists with behavioural studies at the Endangered Primate Centre
Víctor Carbajal Perelló a student of Dr Dr. Sònia Sanchez, a researcher from the University of Barcelona who manages the White-naped Mangabey Conservation Project, travelled to Accra to assist his classmates, Núria Badiella Giménez, and Anaïs Avilés de Diego with behavioural observations of the White-naped Mangabeys housed at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre for the social integration and rehabilitation component of the project. This research helps to integrate the mangabeys into larger, more cohesive groups which will hopefully facilitate natural reproduction of this highly endangered species. In addition to their daily observations, the students helped Enrichment Officer, Martin Apusinaba and Senior Keeper Evans Yirenikyi to construct and install bamboo swings and ladders in the primate enclosures. The structures have been very popular with the mangabeys who spend many hours climbing, jumping and swinging from the structures.
|May 2012||WAPCA T-shirts distributed to twelve rural communities
To kick-start this year’s Conservation Education and Awareness Campaign, WAPCA distributed over two- hundred conservation themed T-shirts in twelve rural communities surrounding the Kwabre Rainforest where the last remaining population of Roloway Monkeys still exist in Ghana. This year’s theme “Our Forests-Our Future” is aimed at conveying the message that the long-term economic sustainability of the communities is directly linked to the long-term conservation of the rainforest.
|April 2012||Conservation Education and Awareness Campaign begins
WAPCA’s 2012 Conservation Education and Awareness Campaigns have begun. The multifaceted campaign is aimed at educating not only the school children in the communities surrounding Ghana’s dwindling rainforests, but also the adults and most notably the decision makers within these rural communities. The campaign will focus on community-based education programs aimed toward youth and adults which include conservation-themed competitions such as dramas, plays and essay contests that capture the attention of the whole community through an entertaining and interactive process aimed at educating and empowering community members to value and protect their forests and forest inhabitants. Twelve rural communities throughout the Western Region of Ghana will participate in WAPCA’s Education and Awareness Campaigns which will include approximately 5,500 children and 800 adults.
|March 2012||Trans-border Community Forest
Project endorsed by Paramount Chief
In March 2012, a stakeholders meeting was held in the town of Half Assini with the Paramount Chief, Awulai Anor Agyei and the sub-chiefs from all of the villages of the Jomoro District surrounding the Kwabre Forest to discuss the potential for joining the Tanoé Forest with the Kwabre Forest to create the first Trans-border Community-managed Reserve between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Additional participants included the Wildlife Division of the Ghana Forestry Commission, the Jomoro District Assembly and staff members from various local and international NGO’s. The concept of creating a community-managed trans-border rainforest reserve with Côte d’Ivoire was well received by the Paramount Chief as well as the village sub-chiefs. In his closing remarks, paramount chief Anor Agyei urged meeting participants to move forward with the concept and pledged his support for the continued development of the project.
|March-April 2012||Primate Surveys: First sighting of Roloway Monkeys in Ghana in over twelve years!
In 2011, preliminary recce surveys conducted by WAPCA detected the presence of the Critically Endangered Roloway Monkey (Cercopithecus diana roloway) in the Kwabre Rainforest, a community-owned forest on the border of Côte d’Ivoire. This was the first confirmed sighting of the species in Ghana since the year 2000! Endangered White-naped Mangabeys (Cercocebus atys lunulatus) were also observed as well as more common species of primates. In March 2012, WAPCA conducted a more extensive endangered primate survey of the Kwabre Forest funded by the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation which confirmed the presence of Roloway Monkeys in the Kwabre Forest. The only other existing populations of Roloway Monkeys in the world are found in the Tanoé Forest in Côte d’Ivoire directly opposite the Kwabre Forest in Ghana. The potential for joining the two rainforests into a Trans-border Community-managed Reserve is being investigated.
|February - March 2012||A Visit from Dr Rob Horwich
Dr Rob Horwich of Community Conservation visited Ghana to work with the Field Project Coordinator on the next phase of activities in the border forest area. During his stay there were several community meetings to discuss the prospect of establishing a system of community forest management. At the beginning of March Rob & David were also able to visit the RASAP-CI project across the border in Tanoé.
|February 2012||Primate Survey Training Workshop
In February 2012, a training workshop was conducted for twelve community members from the eight of the villages surrounding the Kwabre Rainforest. Twelve community members were trained as survey assistants and helped with WAPCA’s endangered primate surveys in the Kwabre Rainforest.
|February 2012||News from David Osei
David Osei, who has worked with WAPCA Ghana since September 2006, has been promoted to take up a newly created role as Field Projects Coordinator, where he will take responsibility for overseeing projects in the Western region.
|February 2012||A Visit by Dr Janette Wallis
As part of a stop in Ghana during a “Semester at Sea”, Dr Janette Wallis, Vice President for Conservation of the International Primatological Society, visited WAPCA project sites in Cape Three Points, Ankasa and the Accra Zoo.
|January-June 2012||Barcelona Students assisting with behavioural studies at the Endangered Primate Centre
Barcelona University students, Anaïs Avilés de Diego and Núria Badiella Giménez have arrived in Accra to conduct behavioural observations of the White-naped Mangabeys housed at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre for the social integration and rehabilitation component of the White-naped Mangabey Conservation Project managed by Dr. Sònia Sanchez, a reaearcher from the University of Barcelona. This research helps to integrate the mangabeys into larger, more cohesive groups which will hopefully facilitate natural reproduction of this highly endangered species.
Transfer to Accra
“Accra” an adult female white-naped mangabey was transferred from Barcelona to Accra Zoo as recommended by the EEP (Europäisches Erhaltungszucht Programm/European Breeding Program for Endangered Species). She will be integrated in to a social group that has been selected for release in to the semi-free enclosure.
|November 2011||Celebrating 10 years WAPCA in
An event was held on 30th November 2011 to commemorate 10 years of WAPCA in Ghana. The programme included a drama performance by the FONZ Club of Quaiquo International School, screening of the new WAPCA film (“Primate Conservation in Action”) and a photo exhibition of achievements 2001 – 2011. There was coverage by local print and online press.
|November 2011||Grant from Biodiversity Fund
As part of a new partnership with Community Conservation, WAPCA were successful in securing US$20,000 from the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Fund to support the next phase of activities in the border forest area. This is part of the ongoing cross-border collaboration with the RASAP-CI (Recherche et Actions pour la Sauvegarde de Primates en Côte-d'Ivoire) project in Tanoé.
|October - November 2011||Documentary film on WAPCA
A documentary film entitled “WAPCA – Primate Conservation in Action” was made to promote WAPCA activities in Ghana. The film will be distributed for use during education programmes both in Europe and Ghana. The film was made in collaboration with Jonathan Alderson of Hidden Picture Productions.
|October 2011||Primate survey
David Osei and Wildlife Division field staff from Ankasa work with trained community field assistants to conduct a primate survey in the Cape Three Points forest reserve. The surveys confirm the presence of most forest primates, including white-naped mangabeys.
|September 2011||Research study
Mavis Asamoah, a final year student at the University of Ghana, conducted a research study at the Accra Zoo as part of the White-naped Mangabey Conservation Project (WMCP). This project is aiming to rehabilitate captive animals for introduction in to a semi-free enclosure situated in the Ankasa Conservation Area (western Ghana).
Photo of David Osei (WAPCA) in Nigeria visiting the CERCOPAN project in Rhoko Forest, where there is a semi-free enclosure for red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus torquatus).
|August 2011||A visit
As part of the White-naped Mangabey Conservation Project, Dr Sònia Sanchez and David Osei (WAPCA Assistant) visited the CERCOPAN and Pandrillus projects in Nigeria, both of which have semi-free facilities for primates.
|July 2011||Training workshop on survey
Also during July, thanks to funding from USAID (administered by CRC-Ghana), WAPCA and Wildlife Division staff ran a training workshop on primate survey methods for community members in the Cape Three Points area. This is in preparation for a primate census survey that will be conducted in the Cape Three Points Forest Reserve in September/October 2011.
research assistant from Barcelona arrived
The White-naped Mangabey Conservation Project has developed out of the ongoing collaboration with the University of Barcelona and Barcelona Zoo. In July, Elena Yajeya de León, a Research Assistant from the University of Barcelona, arrived in Ghana to begin a process of social rehabilitation for the pre-selected mangabeys at the Accra Zoo.
|June/July 2011||Education Programme
Thanks to the new partnership with Coastal Resources Center Ghana (CRC) and partial funding from USAID, a conservation education programme was conducted by WAPCA and Wildlife Division for schools situated in fringe communities bordering the Cape Three Points Forest Reserve.
|June 2011||World Environment Day
On 4th June WAPCA staff collaborated with CRC-Ghana on an event in Akwidae (a village close to Cape Three Points Forest Reserve) to commemorate and raise awareness about World Environment Day, the theme for this year being “Forests: Nature at your service.”
exchange programme launched
A pilot education exchange programme was run which partnered a nursery school in Heidelberg (Germany) with a school in Accra (Ghana). The school selected in Ghana was Merton Montessori. WAPCA Assistant, David Osei and a volunteer teacher, Joe Ronzio, conducted a 7-lesson programme on endangered primates, which was developed by the WAPCA Intern, Holly Poell. The programme incorporated the opportunity for the children to exchange pictures and drawings.
|April 2011||Visit by
the German Ambassador
Mr Hans Christian Winkler, the Deputy Ambassador of Germany in Ghana, visited the Endangered Primate Centre at the Accra Zoo to learn more about WAPCA projects.
|April 2011||Visit by
Dr Rob Horwich
Dr Rob Horwich of Community Conservation visits Ghana to work with CRC (Coastal Resources Center). During his trip he met with Wildlife Division and WAPCA field staff conducting surveys in the swampy forest along the border with Ivory Coast.
in Kwabre Forest
In collaboration with Wildlife Division, WAPCA conduct surveys and a community questionnaire in and around the Kwabre Forest.
surveys in Subri River Forest Reserve
Dr Paul Buzzard and John Atingah Parker (Wildlife Division) conduct primate surveys in the Subri River Forest Reserve.
|February 2011||WAPCA Ghana board meeting
The first WAPCA Ghana board meeting is held of 2011. There are two new members: Dr Erasmus Owusu, a lecturer from the Department of Animal Biology & Conservation Science at the University of Legon and former Executive Director of the Ghana Wildlife Society; and Mrs Vivian Nuhu, a retired education specialist who formerly worked as Public Relations Manager for Wildlife Division.
David Osei., the WAPCA Assistant, collaborated with FONZ to screen a primate documentary for FONZ school clubs in Accra.
A community meeting was held in Kwabre village to introduce WAPCA and the intention to conduct primate surveys and community interviews in the area.
Holly Poell, a student from Trent University (Canada), begins a 12 week attachment with WAPCA Ghana.
Holly (r) and the coordinator in front of "the big tree"
for new surveys
Initial visits were made to the Subri River Forest Reserve and Kwabre Forest (off reserve area, south west of Ankasa, on the border with Cote d’Ivoire) where primate surveys are going to be conducted in early 2011.
Visits from zoos across Europe
Nick Lindsay (ZSL) and three colleagues from zoos in Europe; Roger Wilkinson (Chester Zoo, UK), Frank Rietkerk (Apenheul Zoo, Netherlands) and Simon Tonge (South West Environmental Parks, UK) visited the Accra Zoo. The visit was an opportunity for the Coordinator and Zoo Manager to discuss field projects as well as those at the zoo.
The Coordinator for WAPCA Ghana attended the annual EAZA conference held in Verona, Italy. She gave presentations in the Old World Monkey TAG (Taxon Advisory Group), the annual WAPCA Europe meeting and the open plenary on education.
Dr Sonia Sanchez has completed her study on the feasibility of establishing a semi-free enclosure for white-naped mangabeys in Ankasa.
left: Survey of potential sites, right: interviews in local communities.
|September 2010||New Publication "Primates of West
Conservation International has published a new pocket guide to “Primates of West Africa”. 500 free copies were received by WAPCA Ghana for distribution to Wildlife Division staff, school conservation clubs and university departments.
Training for Wildlife Division and WAPCA staff
Jeanne-Marie Pittman (a senior veterinary nurse from Johannesburg Zoo) spent five weeks in Ghana conducting extensive training for Wildlife Division, Veterinary Services and WAPCA staff in Accra and Kumasi. Topics covered included parasitology, enrichment, record keeping, hygiene and husbandry.
Collaboration with University of Barcelona and Parque Zoológico de Barcelona.
Dr Sònia Sànchez from the University of Barcelona, arrived in Ghana to conduct a feasibility study (funded by Parque Zoológico de Barcelona), looking at the possibility to establish a semi-free enclosure for white-naped mangabeys in Ankasa.
|April 2010||Visit from WAPCA Chairman Dr
Dr Klaus Wünnemann (Chairperson of WAPCA Europe, Director Heidelberg Zoo) visited Ghana and Ivory Coast. He met with key partners, visited project sites and discussed ideas for future activities in each country.
Dr Wünnemann with WAPCA Assistant and animal keepers at the Endangered Primate Centre, Accra.
Below: Entering Tanoé Forest, Ivory Coast
Dr Wünnemann with WAPCA Ghana Coordinator, Dr Inza Kone and other representatives from RASAP – CI/CSRS (Recherche et Actions pour la Sauvegarde de Primates en Côte-d'Ivoire/Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d'Ivoire), SOS Forét and CARE International, in Ankasa.
|March 2010||Awareness campaign extended
Thanks to funding from WAPCA e.V., WAPCA Ghana has been able to extend the CFBP awareness activities for communities in Ankasa and Cape Three Points areas. As part of this a schools programme was conducted in communities forming the Amokwaw CREMA. Again the highlight was an excursion to the forest, this time for an overnight stay, thanks to Wildlife Division granting permission to use the Ankasa Exploration Base (conservation education facility within the forest).
helping zoo staff
During their first visit of 2010, the Lincoln Community School Roots & Shoots club helped zoo staff to clean the crocodile pond.
zoo keeper from Germany
WAPCA Ghana was very grateful to receive Simone Querfurt, a zoo keeper from Duisburg Zoo, as a volunteer working with staff at the EPC. During her visit she also accompanied the Coordinator and Assistant on a field visit to Ankasa and Cape Three Points.