WWF funds the Leo Foundation with 10,000 euros for a project in Waza National Park. This park is situated in the extreme Northern region of Cameroon and has suffered severely under the presence of Boko Haram in the area. We will use the money to assess the condition of the parks biodiversity and support park management in its job to strengthen the protection of the park now that Boko Haram has left.
Waza National Park is a unique park in the extreme north of Cameroon. It was a popular tourism destination, especially for bird watchers. Because of its diverse landscapes the park has a rich diversity of bird species. It is also home to lions, elephants and giraffes. The park is not fenced and is located in a densely populated area. This often leads to conflicts between lions and nomadic herders. For example, when the herders access the park to let their cattle drink at the water holes of wild animals.
With the arrival of Boko Haram from Nigeria tourism in the area came to a halt, as well as scientific research. Resulting in outdated estimates for surviving lions and herbivores. Now that the Cameroonian army expelled Boko Haram from the area, scientific research is again possible.
With the money of WWF’s INNO-fund we are starting anew with estimating population densities of lions and their prey species. This knowledge is of great importance to protect the parks nature and provides park management with much needed information on how to strengthen the protection of the park. We also use camera traps that can be remotely accessed with a smartphone. Almost half the park has GSM network coverage. This means that cameras no longer have to be checked manually, saving both time and fuel enabling us to work cheaper and more efficiently.
The INNO-fund of WWF supports small Dutch organisations with projects that boost international nature conservation using innovative methods.