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Rainforests and Biodiversity

At the beginning of the 21st centuary, experts assumed that more than 150 species of animal and plant species were becoming extinct every day. This alarming process does not exclude the biodiversity of the West African rainforests and our closest relatives, the primate species of the world.

The Upper Guinean Rainforest, with its unique biodiversity is regarded by the World Conservation Organization (IUCN) as one of the world’s 25 “hotspots of biodiversity”. These “hotspots” only cover 1,4 % of the earth’s surface but they contain more than 60 % of all animal and plant species to be found on this planet. This is why they have the highest priority for long-term international conservation efforts.

The “hotspot” Upper Guinean Rainforest is home to six monkey species that are listed amongst the world’s 25 most endangered primate species, as well as many other rare animal species. It is in order to help protect these and conserve the enormous biodiversity that WAPCA will concentrate its work in this area.

The Upper Guinean Rainforest

The Upper Guinean Rainforest constitutes a 350 km wide strip of coastal forest area that stretches from Sierra Leone through Liberia, Ivory Coast and on to Ghana. In Ghana the Volta River marks the boundary of this forest area. In Ivory Coast there is a v-shaped section, the “Baoule-V”, which separates the Upper Guinean Rainforest into eastern and western parts.

In the eastern area of the Upper Guinean Rainforest there are several endemic animal species including the Western Black and White Colobus (Colobus polykomos), the Lesser Spot-nose Monkey (Cercopithecus cephus petaurista), Zebra Duiker (Cephalophus zebra), Liberian Mongoose (Liberiictis kuhni), Diana Guenon (Cercopithecus diana) and White-naped Mangabey (Cercocebus atys lunulatus).