Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lion population drops 50% in Cameroon park in 7 years

Cameroon: Far North - Protected Wildlife Species Risk Extinction

Mfonfu Vincent
Cameroon Tribune
16 July 2009

In the last couple of months wildlife researchers have come up with shocking revelations on the rate at which our wildlife species are racing towards extinction in Cameroon in particular and Central Africa in general.

For example, a researcher from the University of Dschang talking to reporters of the Cameroon Radio and Television Corporation (CRTV) revealed that the population of lions in Waza national Park in the Far North Region of Cameroon had dropped from 60 to only 30 in past 7 years. Intensive surveys carried out by the species survival commission of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) failed to locate the continued presence of the black rhino in North Cameroon, implying that the West African Black rhino has finally succumbed to extinction, having been hunted out of existence by the illegal hunt for rhino horns, widely sought in Asian markets for its medicinal and aphrodisiac properties and values.

The rhino population in Africa is projected to have stood at 100,000 in 1990 and fell to as low as 2,400 by 1995. IUCN sources thus hold that,
"Now the West African black rhino has apparently vanished entirely".
According the IUCN research team leader, Richard Emslie, following their survey results in Northern Cameroon, "There was nothing to indicate a continued presence of rhino in the area", implies that they have gone extinct.

The trouble for black rhinos and lions could save as a warning that the ecosystem as a whole is under serious threat. In fact, a senior official of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Cameroon has been cited by Reuters as attributing the decline in great numbers of elephants to illegal cross-border trade in endangered wildlife species and their products (meat, skin, horns, teeth, tails etc). "Elephants are declining in large numbers every day due to the booming illicit trade in ivory If
governments in the region do not take urgent measures to combat the illicit trade they could be extinct within the next 10 years", declared, Martin Tchamba, WWF Cameroon.


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