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Location of Ebo forest in southwest Cameroon. 

Location of Ebo forest in southwest Cameroon. 

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The Ebo forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of lowland and submontane rainforest north of the Sanaga River in Cameroon. The avian assemblage so far identified is typical for the region and currently numbers 160 species recorded from seven forest habitats. The presence of Malimbus racheliae and M. erythrogaster indicates that the forest ma...

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... Ebo forest is located within the region of high biodiversity between the Sanaga river in Cameroon and the Cross river in Nigeria (Fig. 1). It retains an almost intact large mammal population, including Forest Elephant Loxodonta cyclotis, Gorilla Gorilla gorilla, Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes and nine other diurnal primate species. The forest has a complex history of human habitation and, although much of the region is devoid of permanent habitation today, until the 1960s ...

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Citations

... The forest is a refuge for the rich biodiversity that characterises the region but which is now depleted across most of its range due to human pressure, including habitat loss, agriculture, logging and hunting (Mahmoud et al., 2019;Morgan et al., 2013). It is home to many threatened mammal species including Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee Pan troglodytes ellioti, western gorilla Gorilla gorilla, drill Mandrillus leucophaeus, Preuss's red colobus Piliocolobus preussi and African forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis (Morgan et al., 2003;Oates, 2011), and has high avian and anuran diversity (Dahmen, 2013;Whytock and Morgan, 2010). Plant diversity and endemicity of Ebo is also high, with 29 new species to science discovered since 2005 (Cheek et al., 2021(Cheek et al., , 2018Mackinder et al., 2010;van der Burgt et al., 2015). ...
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Intact forest landscapes (IFLs) are globally important for maintaining functional ecosystems. Ebo forest (~1400 km2) in Cameroon is one of the largest remaining IFLs in the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forest ecoregion and harbours several IUCN Red-Listed threatened mammal species. We evaluated the status, trends, and distribution of mammals ≥ 0.5 kg in the Ebo forest over 12 years using guided recce and camera trap monitoring surveys, as well as local knowledge to inform future land use and conservation planning. Recce monitoring of seven taxa (blue duiker Philantomba monticola, chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis, putty-nosed monkey Cercopithecus nictitans, medium sized duikers Cephalophus spp., and red river hog Potamochoerus porcus) showed that some are stable or increasing. Indeed, our recent camera trap data confirmed breeding Gorilla gorilla (western gorilla) and elephant. Distribution models for chimpanzees and elephants showed that their populations are concentrated in the centre of the forest, away from human pressure. Some other species, however, including red colobus Piliocolobus preussi, leopard Panthera pardus, African golden cat Caracal aurata, and forest buffalo Syncerus caffer nanus are either close to extirpation or have been extirpated within living memory. We conclude that the Ebo intact forest landscape retains an important mammal community, despite no formal legal protection. Ebo’s future is uncertain, with two commercial logging concessions announced by Cameroon in 2020 and later suspended in response to national and international pressure. It is crucial to maintain Ebo‟s integrity to maintain the biodiversity and function of this important part of the Cross-Sanaga- Bioko coastal forest ecoregion.
... Crowned eagles (IUCN Near Threatened), which are also known to be hunted in the study area (Whytock and Morgan, 2010) have a much slower generation time than palm-nut vultures, maturing at c.5 years of age and requiring c.500 days to produce a single offspring, and are already considered rare in the ENP (Whytock and Morgan, 2010). Therefore, even if only 20% (n = 2.4 individuals) of the approximately 12 'eagles' consumed per annum were crowned eagles this level of offtake would be sufficiently high to have a negative impact on populations. ...
... Crowned eagles (IUCN Near Threatened), which are also known to be hunted in the study area (Whytock and Morgan, 2010) have a much slower generation time than palm-nut vultures, maturing at c.5 years of age and requiring c.500 days to produce a single offspring, and are already considered rare in the ENP (Whytock and Morgan, 2010). Therefore, even if only 20% (n = 2.4 individuals) of the approximately 12 'eagles' consumed per annum were crowned eagles this level of offtake would be sufficiently high to have a negative impact on populations. ...
... Therefore, even if only 20% (n = 2.4 individuals) of the approximately 12 'eagles' consumed per annum were crowned eagles this level of offtake would be sufficiently high to have a negative impact on populations. Black casqued and white-thighed hornbills have a more rapid generation time and are more abundant than large raptors in the ENP (Whytock and Morgan, 2010). However, nest success rates for both species show high inter-annual variation linked to fruit availability, and within a 25 km 2 study area in Central Cameroon the number of active nests ranged from 0 to 38 per annum over a four-year period (Stauffer and Smith, 2004). ...
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Global biodiversity is threatened by unsustainable exploitation for subsistence and commerce, and tropical forests are facing a hunting crisis. In Central African forests, hunting pressure has been quantified by monitoring changes in the abundance of affected species and by studying wild meat consumption, trade and hunter behaviour. However, a proportion of offtake is also discarded as bycatch or consumed by hunters when working, which can be overlooked by these methods. For example, remains of hornbills and raptors are found regularly in hunting camps but relatively few birds are consumed in households or traded in markets. Hornbill and raptor populations are sensitive to small increases in mortality because of their low intrinsic population growth rates, however, the scale and socioeconomic drivers of the cryptic hunting pressure affecting these species have not been quantified. We used direct and indirect questioning and mixed-effects models to quantify the socioeconomic predictors, scale and seasonality of illegal bird hunting and consumption in Littoral Region, Cameroon. We predicted that younger, unemployed men with low educational attainment (i.e. hunters) would consume birds more often than other demographics, and that relative offtake would be higher than expected based on results from village and market-based studies. We found that birds were primarily hunted and consumed by unemployed men during the dry season but, in contrast to expectations, we found that hunting prevalence increased with educational attainment. Within unemployed men educated to primary level (240 of 675 respondents in 19 villages), we estimated an average of 29 hornbills and eight raptors (compared with 19 pangolins) were consumed per month during the study period (Feb-Jun 2015) in a catchment of c.1135 km 2. We conclude that large forest birds face greater hunting pressure than previously recognised, and birds are a regular source of protein for men during unemployment. Offtake levels may be unsustainable for some raptors and hornbills based on life history traits but in the absence of sufficient baseline ecological and population data we recommend that a social-ecological modeling approach is used in future to quantify hunting sustainability.
... However, this species is likely facing persecution over much of its range (Thomsett 2011). For example, it is specifically targeted by hunters in the Ebo forest, Cameroon (Whytock and Morgan 2010a, 2010b) and appears in fetish markets in West Africa (Nikolaus 2001). ...
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This study aimed to identify variables that affect habitat selection and nesting success of the African Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus, the largest forest raptor, in north-eastern South Africa. A preference for nesting in the Northern Mistbelt Forest vegetation type was established and 82% of all nests were located in indigenous trees. Nest abandonment was less common when distances to the nearest neighbour were greater. The diet of this species was investigated by examination of prey remains beneath nests and verified by comparison with museum specimens. In total, 156 remains were found, representing a minimum of 75 prey individuals. The diet of African Crowned Eagles constituted almost entirely mammals (99%), which were predominantly antelopes (61%) and monkeys (25%). It was also found that the proportion of primates in the diet correlates with latitude: populations in equatorial latitudes have a higher proportion of primates in their diets, whereas further south antelopes are a much more common diet component.
... Over 160 bird species have been recorded in the Ebo forest (Whytock & Morgan, 2010) including at least 13 species of diurnal raptor (table 1). According to current distribution maps (Borrow & Demey, 2004) another four species are likely to be present. ...
... Thirteen species of diurnal raptor found in the Ebo forest or its outliers(Whytock & Morgan, 2010). ...
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The Ebo forest is one of the largest (>1,500 km 2 ) and most functionally intact rainforests in the high biodiversity region between the Sanaga River in Cameroon and the Cross River in Nigeria. The raptor population consists of at least 13 diurnal species, including African Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus), Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus africanus) and Long-tailed Hawk (Urotriorchis macrourus). Hunting to supply the commercial trade in bushmeat is threatening large bodied, slow reproducing species throughout Cameroon. Here we report on the killing and consumption of large raptors by commercial hunters in the Ebo forest, Cameroon.
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Across Africa, large mammals are threatened by human activities including hunting, disease and habitat loss. Due to their vocal characteristics, primates are more vulnerable to hunting. The Ebo forest in the Littoral Region, Cameroon harbours many primate species including chimpanzees, gorillas and many monkeys from the genus Cercopithecus. We conducted a survey 23 parallel guided recces, separated by 4km, totalling c. 400km, and oriented perpendicular to the main rivers from November 2018 to March 2019 to determine the impact of human activities on primate distribution in the proposed Ebo National Park. We recorded all primate and human signs and for each observation we described the site (canopy cover, visibility, undergrowth, vegetation type, and slope) and collected a GPS location. We used Microsoft Excel for data analysis and Quantum GIS 3.0 for mapping. We recorded 78 chimpanzee signs including nesting sites, prints and vocalizations across the forest; 61 signs of Cercopithecus monkeys (C. mona, C. nictitans, C. pogonias and, C. erythrotis) including sightings and vocalizations. We observed 733 human signs including farms, machete cuts, snares, tree cut, death cartridges, trails, vocalizations and encounters. The study revealed that chimpanzee signs were distributed all over the forest, but their encounter rate decreased from the central part of the forest to the periphery. Conversely, human signs decreased as the distance from the village increased. Most chimpanzee nests were recorded on areas with steep slopes that were not easily accessible to humans. The guenons were found in closed canopy forest. The distribution of chimpanzee and guenon signs could be linked to predation avoidance. Some primate species are at risk of local extinction in Ebo due to hunting. There is the need for greater protection through the upgrade of the forest into a national park, and greater awareness campaigns in adjacent human communities. Keywords: Ebo forest, primate distribution, hunting, recce survey.