Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

A mix of community-based conservation and protected forests is needed for the survival of the Endangered pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis

  • Annika Hillers (a1), Graeme M. Buchanan (a1), Jerry C. Garteh (a2), Solomon M. Tommy (a3), Mohamed L. Fofana (a3) and Jeremy A. Lindsell (a4)...
Abstract
Abstract

The contribution of protected areas to biodiversity conservation is well attested but many taxa in many regions remain dependent on the unprotected wider landscape. To develop conservation plans for large mammals such as the Endangered pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis of West Africa's Upper Guinea Forests it is critical to understand the importance of unprotected land. Despite being a conservation priority, little is known about the habitat associations of this species, or its distribution across its range. Through a combination of field surveys, species distribution models and community questionnaires we investigated the use of unprotected areas by the pygmy hippopotamus in the Sierra Leone–Liberia border region. We found signs of the species in 128 of 525 1-km2 cells surveyed. Our analysis suggested that the species is reasonably widespread in this region and is associated with major rivers. It occurred close to, but rarely within, large areas of intact forest, and 80.4% of pygmy hippopotamus signs were recorded outside protected areas. The expansion of the protected area network in this area is unrealistic in Sierra Leone and to some extent in Liberia, mainly because of anthropogenic pressure and the overlap of proposed protected areas with mining and logging concessions. Thus pygmy hippopotamus conservation activities in the region need to include programmes on community lands while maintaining a robust network of protected forests. Community-based conservation of the pygmy hippopotamus may prove valuable for other threatened and endemic species that are not confined to protected areas in this region.

Copyright
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail annika.hillers@rspb.org.uk
Footnotes
Hide All
* Also at: Gola Rainforest National Park, Kenema, Sierra Leone
To view supplementary material for this article, please visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003060531600020X
Footnotes
References
Hide All
AsareR.A., KyeiA. & MasonJ.J. (2013) The community resource management area mechanism: a strategy to manage African forest resources for REDD+. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 368, 20120311.
Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK & Commonwealth (1999) Ethical Guidelines for Good Research Practice. Http://www.theasa.org/ethics/guidelines.shtml [accessed 21 March 2016].
BeresfordA.E., BuchananG.M., DonaldP.F., ButchartS.H.M., FishpoolL.D.C. & RondininiC. (2011a) Poor overlap between the distribution of protected areas and globally threatened birds in Africa. Animal Conservation, 14, 99107.
BeresfordA.E., BuchananG.M., DonaldP.F., ButchartS.H.M., FishpoolL.D.C. & RondininiC. (2011b) Minding the protection gap: estimates of species’ range sizes and holes in the protected area network. Animal Conservation, 14, 114116.
BrownJ. & BirdN. (2011) Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Namibia: Successful Community-Based Wildlife Conservation. ODI Publications, London, UK.
BrugièreD. (2012) Identifying priority areas for the conservation of antelopes in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, using the complementarity approach. Oryx, 46, 253259.
ButchartS.H.M., ClarkeM., SmithR.J., SykesR.E., ScharlemannJ.P.W., HarfootM. et al. (2015) Shortfalls and solutions for meeting national and global conservation area targets. Conservation Letters, 8, 329337.
CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) (2010) COP 10 Decision X/2. Strategic plan for biodiversity 2011–2020. Http://www.cbd.int/decision/cop/?id=12268 [accessed 1 October 2014].
CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) (2000) Upper Guinean Forest Ecosystem of Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot. CEPF, Washington, D.C., USA.
ChristieT., SteiningerM.K., JuhnD. & PealA. (2007) Fragmentation and clearance of Liberia's forests during 1986–2000. Oryx, 41, 539543.
CollenB., HowardR., KonieJ., DanielO. & RistJ. (2011) Field surveys for the Endangered pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis in Sapo National Park, Liberia. Oryx, 45, 3537.
ConwayA.L. (2013) Conservation of the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) in Sierra Leone, West Africa. PhD thesis. University of Georgia, Athens, USA.
ConwayA.L., HernandezS.M., CarrollG.P., GreenG.T. & LarsonL. (2015) Local awareness of and attitudes towards the pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis in the Moa River Island Complex, Sierra Leone. Oryx, 49, 550558.
DanielsenF., JensenP.M., BurgessN.D., AltamarinoR., AlviolaP.A., AndrianandrasanaH. et al. (2014) A multicountry assessment of tropical resource monitoring by local communities. BioScience, 64, 236251.
De KlerkH.M., FjeldsåJ., BlythS. & BurgessN.D. (2004) Gaps in the protected area network for threatened Afrotropical birds. Biological Conservation, 117, 529537.
DIVA-GIS (2013) Http://www.diva-gis.org/gdata [accessed 18 September 2013].
ForrestJ.L., BomhardB., BudimanA., CoadL., CoxN., DinersteinE. et al. (2011) Single-species conservation in a multiple-use landscape: current protection of the tiger range. Animal Conservation, 14, 283294.
FranklinJ. (2009) Mapping Species Distributions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
GardnerT.A., CaroT., FitzherbertE.B., BandaT. & LalbhaiP. (2007) Conservation value of multiple-use areas in East Africa. Conservation Biology, 21, 15161525.
GarnierJ., HillN., GuissamuloA., SilvaI., WittM. & GodleyB. (2012) Status and community-based conservation of marine turtles in the northern Querimbas Islands (Mozambique). Oryx, 46, 359367.
GreengrassE. (2011) Exploring the Dynamics of Bushmeat Hunting and Trade in Sapo National Park. Unpublished report. Fauna & Flora International, Monrovia, Liberia.
GrubbP., JonesT.S., DaviesA.G., EdbergE., StarinE.D. & HillJ.E. (1998) Mammals of Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Gambia. The Tendrine Press, Zennor, UK.
HenschelP., CoadL., BurtonC., ChataignerB., DunnA., MacDonaldD. et al. (2014) The lion in West Africa is Critically Endangered. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e83500.
HijmansR.J., CameronS.E., ParraJ.L., JonesP.G. & JarvisA. (2005) Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. International Journal of Climatology, 25, 19651978.
HillersA. (2013) Final Report on the Activities of the Research Unit, Across the River—A Transboundary Peace Park for Sierra Leone and Liberia, 2010 to 2013. Unpublished report for BirdLife International/RSPB.
HillersA. & MuanaA. (2011) Pygmy Hippopotamus Conservation Project Within the “Across the River—A Transboundary Peace Park for Sierra Leone and Liberia” Project (ARTP). Unpublished report for Zoo Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
HodgkinsonC., MallonD., VogtT. & RansomC. (2013) First national conservation strategy for the pygmy hippopotamus in Liberia. Oryx, 47, 479482.
IUCN (2014) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species v. 2014.2. Http://www.iucnredlist.org [accessed 8 October 2014].
JunkerJ., BlakeS., BoeschC., CampbellG., du ToitL., DuvallC. et al. (2012) Recent decline in suitable environmental conditions for African great apes. Diversity and Distributions, 11, 10771091.
JunkerJ., BoeschC., FreemanT., MundryR., StephensC. & KühlH.S. (2015) Integrating wildlife conservation with conflicting economic land-use goals in a West African biodiversity hotspot. Basic and Applied Ecology, 16, 690702.
KlopE., LindsellJ.A. & SiakaA. (2008) Biodiversity of Gola Forest, Sierra Leone. Unpublished report. RSPB and CSSL.
KoromaP.Y. (2012) Analysis of the distribution of large mammals around the Gola Rainforest National Park (Malema Chiefdom) based on a camera trap study, with a focus on key bushmeat species. BSc thesis. Eastern Polytechnic, Kenema, Sierra Leone.
LahaiK. (2013) The distribution of key species in the Gola Forests – a comparison between the Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone and the Gola National Forest in Liberia. A case study in Gola Central (Nomo, Gaura, Malema and Tunkia Chiefdoms). BSc thesis. Eastern Polytechnic, Kenema, Sierra Leone.
LauranceW.F., SayerJ. & CassmanK.G. (2014) Agricultural expansion and its impacts on tropical nature. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29, 107116.
LauranceW.F., UsecheC., RendeiroJ., KalkaM., BradshawC.J.A., SloanS.P. et al. (2012) Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature, 489, 290294.
LewisonR.L. (2011) Family Hippopotamidae (hippopotamuses). In Handbook of the Mammals of the World, Volume 2 (eds Wilson D.E. & Mittermeier R.A.), pp. 308319. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
LewisonR. & OliverW. (IUCN SSC Hippo Specialist Subgroup) (2008) Choeropsis liberiensis. In The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species v. 2013.2. Http://www.iucnredlist.org [accessed 8 October 2014].
MallonD., WightmanC., De OrnellasP. & RansomC. (eds) (2011) Conservation Strategy for the Pygmy Hippopotamus. IUCN Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland & Cambridge, UK.
MayauxP., BartholoméE., FritzS. & BelwardA. (2004) A new land-cover map of Africa for the year 2000. Journal of Biogeography, 31, 861877.
MerzG. (1986) The status of the forest elephant Loxodonta africana cyclotis, Matschie, 1900, in the Gola Forest reserves, Sierra Leone. Biological Conservation, 36, 8394.
MittermeierR.A., Robles GilP., HoffmanM., PilgrimJ., BrooksT., Goettsch MittermeierC. et al. (2004) Hotspots Revisited: Earth's Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
MonticelliD., SiakaA., BuchananG.M., WottonS., MorrisT., WardillJ.C. & LindsellJ.A. (2012) Long term stability of white-necked picarthartes population in south-east Sierra Leone. Bird Conservation International, 22, 170183.
NelJ.L., RouxD.J., MareeG., KleynhansC.J., MoolmanJ., ReyersB. et al. (2007) Rivers in peril inside and outside protected areas: a systematic approach to conservation assessment of river ecosystems. Diversity and Distributions, 13, 341352.
PerfectoI. & VandermeerJ. (2010) The agroecological matrix as alternative to the land-sparing/agricultural intensification model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 57865791.
PhillipsS.J., AndersonR.P. & SchapireR.E. (2006) Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling, 190, 231259.
PhillipsS.J. & DudikM. (2008) Modelling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography, 31, 161175.
RansomC., RobinsonP.T. & CollenB. (2015) Choeropsis liberiensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T10032A18567171. Http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T10032A18567171.en [accessed 19 March 2016].
RodriguesA.S.L., AndelmanS.J., BakarrM.I., BoitaniL., BrooksT.M., CowlingR.M. et al. (2004) Effectiveness of the global protected area network in representing species diversity. Nature, 428, 640643.
RothH.H., Hoppe-DominikB., MühlenbergM., Steinhauer-BurkartB. & FischerF. (2004) Distribution and status of the hippopotamids in the Ivory Coast. African Zoology, 39, 211224.
SteckB. (2015) International Studbook for the Pygmy Hippopotamus 2014. Zoo Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
SteinmetzR., SrirattanapornS., Mor-TipJ. & SeuaturienN. (2014) Can community outreach alleviate poaching pressure and recover wildlife in South-East Asian protected areas? Journal of Applied Ecology, 51, 14691478.
SwanepoelL.H., LindseyP., SomersM.J., van HovenW. & DalerumF. (2013) Extent and fragmentation of suitable leopard habitat in South Africa. Animal Conservation, 16, 4150.
TrewhellaW.J., Rodrigues-ClarkK.M., CorpN., EntwistleA., GarrettS.R.T., GranekE. et al. (2005) Environmental education as a component of multidisciplinary conservation programs: lessons from conservation initiatives for Critically Endangered fruit bats in the western Indian Ocean. Conservation Biology, 19, 7585.
TwehC.G., LormieM.M., KouakouC.Y., HillersA., KühlH.S. & JunkerJ. (2015) Conservation status of chimpanzees Pan troglodytes verus and other large mammals in Liberia: a nationwide survey. Oryx, 49, 710718.
UN (United Nations) (2015) UN Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015. Https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld [accessed 19 April 2016].
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) (2014) Human Development Report 2014. Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience. United Nations Development Programme. New York, USA.
UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) (2015) The World Database on Protected Areas. Http://www.unep-wcmc.org [accessed 1 October 2015].
USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) (2013) HYDRO1 K data. Https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/HYDRO1K [accessed 17 September 2013].
Vito Earth Observation (2010) SPOT vegetation programme. Http://www.spot-vegetation.com/ [accessed 13 September 2013].
WearnO.R., RowcliffeJ.M., CarboneC., BernardH. & EwersR.M. (2013) Assessing the status of wild felids in a highly-disturbed commercial forest reserve in Borneo and the implications for camera trap survey design. PLoS ONE, 8(11), e77598.
WesternD., RussellS. & CuthillI. (2009) The status of wildlife in protected areas compared to non-protected areas of Kenya. PLoS ONE, 4(7), e6140.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Hillers supplementary material
Figure S1

 PDF (159 KB)
159 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 8
Total number of PDF views: 75 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 469 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.