Big Discovery in Ghana's Atewa Forest
Scientists from A Rocha earlier this month discovered the presence of White Naped Mangabeys in the Atewa Range Forest in Ghana. According to Seth Appiah-Kubi, the National Director A Rocha Ghana, the discovery of the Mangabey confirms that there is more in Atewa Forest that we are yet to discover, but mined today it will be lost forever.
"Unfortunately, this newly discovered population of this endangered monkey in Atewa is threatened by a bauxite mine being planned for this biologically important forest, as well as by snare traps and hunting for the bush-meat trade”, says Dr Jeremy Lindsell of A Rocha International who led the survey.
“Extracting bauxite from Atewa Forest is incompatible with biodiversity conservation and the ecosystem services that the forest provides. It will spell the end of the unique and irreplaceable species that the forest contains,” says Jan Kamstra of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Netherlands.
A Rocha, IUCN Netherlands and many other stakeholders including international businesses have advocated for Atewa Forest reserve to be upgraded to a National Park. The creation of a new National Park at Atewa has substantial local support, including from the Okyenhene of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, where the forest is located.
In a letter to the President of Ghana dated 15th December, Dr Russ Mittermeier, Chair of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group, writes: “It is a matter of some urgency that the forest is properly protected both from hunting and from habitat change… I urge that Ghana’s commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to the Sustainable Development Goals take precedence in this case and that Atewa Forest is removed from mining plans once and for all and made into a National Park.”
WAPCA is working with A Rocha to prevent this vital forest from being destroyed and we strongly urge our supporter to sign this petition.
To help stop the Government of Ghana from mining bauxite in the Atewa Forest, Click Here to sign a petition.
Zookeeper Aggie and Mangabey Chaachele
As part of our new breeding group, Chaachele (female) and Kwaku (male), Accra Zoo born Mangabeys together with their UK born female counterpart, Ziggy would be transferred to the new enclosure being built in the Accra Zoo.
In this regard, Chaachele is undergoing target training to enable her capture into a transfer box for allocation into the new enclosure. We are glad to say Chaachele is responding positively to the training spearheaded by Keeper Aggie.
Talk- Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Day.
On 7th October, our Country Coordinator was invited for a talk by the Al-Rayan International School-Ghana as part of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Day. She addressed the audience on the intervention measures WAPCA has and is putting in place to safeguard the Critically Endangered primates in the Upper Guinean Rainforest.
International Zookeeper Day – Accra Zoo.
October 4 has been marked as International Zookeeper Day and in Ghana, the day was celebrated at the Accra Zoo with friends and colleagues from WAPCA and the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission. WAPCA Country Coordinator was thankful to the Zookeepers at the Zoo for their hard-work and selflessness towards the welfare of the animals in their care. The day was climaxed with a drink-up to cheer the hardworking staff at the Accra Zoo.
Meet Elvis, Our New Intern
At the latter part of the month, WAPCA welcomed yet another intern in the person of Elvis Antwi-Baffour, a young rising Ghanaian conservation leader with a background in Natural Resources Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Elvis, an action-driven and fervent conservationist is looking forward to becoming a very useful and influential wildlife conservationist with specialization in primates and as such, he is with us to build relevant skills and experience towards his career goals.
Transfer of White Naped Mangabeys
Seven White naped mangabeys namely Nuba, Sonia, Efua-marie, Yaw-Evans, Togbi, Lisa and Brendan on September 08, were moved from the Endangered Primate Breeding Center- Accra Zoo to the Forested Enclosure in the Kumasi Zoo. This is the holding area in which they will spend some time in before moving to the adjoining 0.4ha forested enclosure.
Visit from Photographer Shelia
WAPCA welcomed Photographer Shelia from London to take some official photos for us. Shelia was at our Endangered Primate Breeding Center at the Accra zoo and our field site in the Western Region to take the photos
Invitation to a Talk
We are grateful to both Paradise Wildlife Park for inviting our Coordinator to talk with their visitors and staff. It was indeed a great platform for the work we do in Ghana to be shared among those present.
We are grateful to Twycross Zoo for inviting our Coordinator to talk with their visitors and staff. It was indeed a great platform for the work we do in Ghana to be shared among those present.
Mangabeys Awareness Day
As an annual international event, it was observed in Ghana by WAPCA as well. The day was observed at the Accra Zoo where the captive population of the White naped mangabeys and Roloway monkey exists. Visitors who came to the zoo on that day were involved in several activities targeted at educating and creating awareness on the mangabeys. Activities included hide and seek, painting of mangabeys, match the mangabey and a raffle where the winner took home a copy of the Primates of West Africa by John F. Oates.
Visit from our WAPCA Member - Owuehand Zoo
WAPCA welcomes Zoo Keeper Demi Vaartjes from Owuehand Zoo - one of our newest members. Demi visited all WAPCA projects in Ghana: the semi-free enclosure in Kumasi Zoological Gardens, the protected area in the Western Region and the EPBC in Accra Zoological Gardens - and assisted us with any help needed. Thank you, Demi!
We are really thankful to the Primate Society of Great Britain, who raised 400£ for WAPCA as their Conservation Cause 2016/2017. WAPCA looks forward to joining them later in the year to celebrate their 50th Anniversary
WAPCA Research Group Poster Presentation
Tom, studying at Chester University, presents his MSc research work carried out in Ghana as part of the WAPCA Research Group. Tom used camera trapping methods to understand mammalian species diversity in our project forest. Read more about our Research Group HERE
Ziggy Arrives At The Centre from London
WAPCA and Accra Zoo are part of the European Endangered species Programme (EEP). This breeding programme manages captive species across Europe pairing the most genetic diverse animals together in order to create a sustainable captive population. Although not in Europe this important participation allows us to exchange animals, transferring those born in Ghana and not genetically represented in Europe helps to widen the genetic pool. Ziggy, from ZSL London Zoo, also has roots in Ghana. Her father Lucky was born at the Centre and whose Dad and brothers are still here!
Mimi Joins The WAPCA Research Group
Mimi Swift is studying for an MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes. Mimi joins the WAPCA Research Group to study the chimpanzees at Kumasi Zoo. Mimi is studying the behaviour repertoire of the chimpanzees and how husbandry and management changes can improve the welfare of the animals. Please visit our Research Group page for more information.
Making New Friends
After spending some time habituating to her new home we have begun to introduce Ivy, our recently imported female from Germany, to her new house mates! First we introduce her to the other female - Obyibiefye - a gentle female who once was held illegal as a pet. Because of this social exclusion at an early age Obyibiefye finds it hard to interact with other monkeys but with Ivy it would appear she has found a friend in Ivy.
T-shirts for Accra Zoo
Thanks to Barcelona Zoo for their donation of t-shirts for the keepers at Accra Zoo
A New Arrival
WAPCA welcomes Ivy to Ghana. As part of the European Endangered species Programme (EEP) which Accra Zoo participates in animals are exchanged to maintain genetic diversity within the captive species. With such a small population sizes like the white naped mangabey it is important we can include genes not represented already in Europe by importing and exporting individuals from Accra. Ivy is particularly special as her Father, Charles, was born in Ghana and exported to Germany. With his offspring, Ivy, coming to Ghana we are bringing African genes back to Africa and completing the circle - perhaps in the future Ivy's offspring will be released back into the wild.
What's in a name....
After some thought, the keepers have named our new babies at the Centre. The boy, on the left, born in December 2016 is called Brendan - named after the Country Coordinators long suffering husband and the female, on the right, born in January of this year is called Lisa - named after our hard working intern who has now left us to return to Germany.
T-shirts for the team!
Thanks to Joris and all at Animal Advoacy and Protection for the t-shirts. The hardest working construction team at the Forested Enclosure really liked them!
A new home for a new group....
Construction begins on a new enclosure at the Centre. This will be home to a brand new breeding group made up of one male and one female born at the Centre and one female imported from the UK as part of the European breeding programme.
WAPCA Research Students arrive...
Students Tom and Lorna arrive from Chester University, while Nuria and Mercedes arrive from Barcelona University! All will be heading out to our field site in the Western Region to carry out primate surveys, camera trapping and community interviews!
Dave is back!
WAPCA welcomes Dave Morgan from Colchester Zoo back to Ghana. Dave will spend 10 days at Kumasi Zoo working with the keepers and management staff to improve the zoo. He will also be assisting the WAPCA staff working on the Forested Enclosure.
First Time Mum!
Afua-Marie has become a Mum for the first time and is doing a great job! The little girl, yet un-named, joins her family at Accra Zoo but will soon be traveling with them to the new Forested Enclosure at Kumasi Zoo!
For archived news please click on an Annual Reports below