The results of the study implemented by staff of the Leo foundation and students of Leiden University in Bouba Ndjida NP, North Cameroon, have now been published in African Journal of Ecology. This study showed that lion and spotted hyena populations in Bouba Ndjida NP seem to have increased between 2005 and 2014. This result was base on a comparison between a calling station survey that Leo Foundation has performed in 2014 with the calling station survey performed by dr Hans Bauer of Wildcru, Oxford in 2005. This project has been sponsored by US Fish and Wildlife Service and Prins Bernhard Natuurfonds.
Calling stations are a fast and cost efficient method to establish populations trends of lions and spotted hyenas over time. Through playback of hyena and buffalo distress calls with a speaker set on a car roof top, lions and spotted hyenas are attracted to the car and counted . These so-called calling stations are done throughout the park. This data can then be extrapolated to the expected number of individuals present in the park. By use of this method tis estimated that 90±42 lions and 161±45 spotted hyenas live in Bouba Ndjida NP.
The outcome of our research is hopeful for lion populations in West- and Central Africa. They pare under considerable pressure of habitat fragmentation and illegal human persecution in protected areas. As part of the Bénoué complex, Bouba Ndjida NP is a key corridor between Nigeria and Chad and houses one of the largest large carnivore populations. Our promising results offer hope for the future of large carnivore populations and the ecosystem in West and Central Africa.