Aspire Grant Program Awardee



Assessing the potential of Lobéké National Park (Cameroon) for conserving Congolian lowland forest bat diversity.

Cameroon —

Lobéké National Park (LNP) is part of the Trinational de la Sangha (TNS), a World Heritage Site (WHS) which is a transboundary conservation complex where Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic meet. TNS have been classified as globally outstanding for its biological richness, and the protection its provide to a range of endangered species in the Central Africa’s Congo Basin. Even though, the PNL is part of the WHS, it remains faunistically unknown and there is no information about bats, they have never been inventoried. Bats play a vital ecological role in forest ecosystems. Their longevity, agility, and low reproductive rate make them excellent bioindicators that show measurable responses to environmental stressors, such as climate change and habitat degradation. However, the park is situated in an area of high predicted bat species richness The goal of this study will be to conserve rare, at risk, and diverse lowland Congolian forest bats in Lobéké National Park by providing a better understanding of the bat fauna of the park, and by setting a baseline against which bat populations can be monitored in the future as indicator species for the integrity of the protected area.

This award was supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Foundation.