• Threatened species conservation

The conservation of Gabon’s great apes at Moukalaba-Doudou National Park

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. The conservation of Gabon’s great apes at Moukalaba-Doudou National Park

With a population of 4,690 great apes, the Moukalaba-Doudou National Park (PNMD, 449,548 km2), located about 600 km from Libreville, represents, for the future, one of the last refuges for western gorillas and common chimpanzees in Central Africa, but it is also Gabon’s main National Park for the development of sustainable tourism focused on gorillas as foreseen by government policy;

 

Indeed, the National Agency of National Parks, (ANPN), through its strategic vision of conservation and promotion of national parks and the PNMD management plan, has identified great ape vision tourism as a priority with the objective of ” to welcome, by 2023, 750 visitors per year in the PNMD for gorilla viewing tourism ”;

 

For many years Kyoto University and IRET have been working on the development of a scientific research program on gorillas leading to the semi-habituation of a group of gorillas named “Gentile”;

 

In 2014, the NGO PROGRAM was appointed by the ANPN to provide on-the-ground management of the habituation of a group of gorillas called “Musiru”, intended for tourism, in collaboration with Kyoto/IRET. In accordance with IUCN guidelines, at least two groups of gorillas should be habituated and strict management and safety rules should be applied;

 

This project aims to strengthen the needs of the habituation process , (working conditions, communication, health and safety measures, team of trackers, monitoring and evaluation, etc.), to put into practice the IUCN guidelines and also to strengthen the capacities of the PNMD in the promotion and development of its ecotourism. This project is part of a global program: “Great Apes of Central Africa of the PPI”, (PPI-GSAC), which is a joint initiative developed by 6 African Civil Society Organizations, partners of the PPI in Central Africa whose objective is the pooling of their experiences and an action program.